New Delhi, March 3: Accused of copying the UPA government's polices, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday listed the initiatives of the Vajpayee government that the Congress pursued from 2004.
Tearing into the opposition that had called the Modi government's plans a copy of former Congress-led United Progress Alliance government's policies, the prime minister said the debate over which programme is new or old could go a long way.
"Whether old plans or new, the debate will take us a long way. The point is the problems are old," Modi said in the Rajya Sabah while replying to a debate on the motion of thanks to President Pranab Mukherjee's address to parliament.
"The opposition, when they were on treasury benches, never gave anyone the credit for nation building. Those who are not ready to give anyone credit in the freedom movement, how will they give any one credit for development of the nation," Modi said as opposition members raised their pitch in protest.
Reading out a few of the programmes initiated by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, Modi pointed to the Congress party saying: "Multi-purpose National Identity Card - you made it Aadhar... Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana of Vajpayee government became MNREGA".
As opposition members shouted in protest, an aggressive prime minister remarked: "Sunna padega, sunna padega" (you will have to listen).
"During Atal ji's time there was freedom of information act, you brought Right to Information Act. In Atal ji's time there was Antyodaya Anna Yojna, you brought National Food Security Act... In Atal Ji's time, there was Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, you brought Right to Education Act...
"...there was Total Sanitation campaign, you brought Nirmal Bharat," Modi said, as members on the treasury benches welcomed the reply with thumping of tables, while opposition members raised their voices in protest.
The main opposition party, the Congress, has repeatedly alleged that the programmes of the Modi-led NDA government are a copy of the policies of its former UPA government.