The Congress was a dartboard for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he responded to a marathon discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, accusing the opposition party of insulting the mandate of people because the BJP won the national elections and blaming electronic voting machines for their defeat.
“After such a big mandate, you say you (BJP) have won, but the country has lost. What’s the logic….If the Congress loses, does the country get defeated. Does the Congress mean the country and country means the Congress. There is a limit of arrogance,” PM Modi said, wondering if the victory of the Congress in Wayanad and Rae Bareli seats too were “defeat of the country”.
PM Modi, who led his party to a stunning victory in the Lok Sabha elections, also took on the congress-led opposition head on for its campaign against electronic voting machines. This, he said, was a “new disease”.
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Reminding the Congress that it hadn’t won a single seat in 17 states, PM Modi said the Congress’s raising questions about the voting machine to attribute its defeat in the national elections was a function of its leadership.
“This is a test of your leadership,” he said, underscoring that blaming EVMs was the easy way out when leaders “do not have the self-confidence, don’t introspect and are not ready to take the blame”. The prime minister also advised the opposition not to take their defeat to heart and start preparing their cadre. “There will be more elections,” he said, somewhat tauntingly.
The prime minister was responding to the discussion on the motion of thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind address to the joint sitting of parliament last week. The ruling BJP-led national coalition, which has only 109 members in the Rajya Sabha, does not have a majority in the 245-member house and often ends up depending on the opposition’s goodwill. The NDA is expected to have a majority only towards the end of 2020.
PM Modi made a pointed reference to the NDA’s minority status in the Rajya Sabha to acknowledge its dependence, underlining that the ruling party even had to fold hands to be able to let him speak early. PM Modi also referred to the many bills that were stuck in the Rajya Sabha over the last five years. “We know we don’t have the majority…. (But) don’t try to strangle the mandate,” he said. Turning to Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu, PM Modi said his government expected justice so that the country did not suffer due to stuck legislations.
PM Modi said those opposing EVMs are not only opposed to EVMs, they have problems with technology, digital transactions, Aadhaar, GST, Bhim App. “Why such negativity? This negativity was one of the chief reasons why some parties have not been able to win people’s trust,” he said.
The prime minister also said that he was saddened by the lynching incident in Jharkhand.
“The lynching in Jharkhand has pained me. It has saddened others too. But, some people in the Rajya Sabha are calling Jharkhand a hub of lynching. Is this fair? Why are they insulting an entire state,” he said.
PM Modi noted that whether it is Jharkhand, or West Bengal or Kerala, incidents of violence should be treated in the same manner and perpetrators of violence get a lesson that the entire country is one on this issue.
Jun 26, 2019 16:18 IST