New Delhi, Feb 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that his government is trying to address old problems which it had inherited from the previous UPA government.
He was speaking on the motion of thanks to the President's Address in the Lok Sabha. During his speech, PM at several times took clear shot at Opposition.
In his 70-minute long speech, Modi, point by point, rebutted allegations against him and his government while targeting Congress on issues including black money, the rural job guarantee scheme, coal block allocations and land acquisition law.
Modi denounced communalism and asserted that his government stood for unity wherein all religions prosper within the framework of the Constitution.
"My government's only religion is 'India first', my government's only religious book is 'Indian Constitution', our only devotion is 'Bharat Bhakti' and our only prayer is 'welfare of all'," he said.
Following are the highlights of his speech:
- Referring to his slogan of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas', he said he sought the cooperation of the opposition also for the benefit of the country.
- He said his government "corrected" the land acquisition act for the sake of farmers, and if there is anything anti-farmer in the law they are ready to change it.
- Modi assured the continuation of the national rural employment guarantee scheme (MGNEGA) saying it made political sense as it was a "living reminder" of the UPA government's "failures".
- PM said corruption had "ruined the nation" and the issue should not be discussed through political prism.
- One of our greatest achievements is that we have forced the nation to debate the issue of black money.
- "Governments come and go. Nation is made by the people, their strength and their Samarth."
- I don't claim that whatever work has been done was done in 9 months only.
- Congress has never had such a low number of seats in the Parliament in the history of India
- It is the poor, the farmer, the tribal communities that are on my mind. We do not think of playing politics over the poor. We think of how to do good work for them.
- Modi said his government was willing to bend on the controversial land acquisition bill if there was anything anti-farmer, and pledged not to allow any discrimination against any religion.
- He dismissed criticism that his government was biased against minorities.
- "Nobody has the right to discriminate on the basis of religion... No one has the right to take law into his hands," he said.
- "Communalism for political reasons has destroyed the country. Hearts have been broken."
- Modi said his government had compelled the nation to talk about black money. "This," he said, "is a big thing."