Despite Modi's scathing remarks, Congress says PM used ‘evading tactics’
New Delhi, June 26: Accused by the Congress of not recognising its leaders' contribution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a stinging counter-attack, saying the party cannot see beyond the Gandhi family and it has been "flying so high" that it has got disconnected from the country's roots.
In his first speech in Parliament after his reelection, Modi said Congress members did not even mention former prime minister Manmohan Singh's work in their speeches in Lok Sabha during the two-day debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address.
The Congress, however, was quick to react when PM Modi flanked the opposition from all sides.
Speaking outside the parliament, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who was recently appointed the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha said,''I think that our argument against the government has at least been replied to by the PM. I think we've succeeded, at least PM who used to remain reluctant to quote any Congress leaders, today quoted Nehru Ji in his speech.''
In a statement, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury also claimed that the PM had used "old evading tactics - to hoodwink the common people, as if he was still in election mode."
Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor said,''Mr Modi whose party & he himself has rarely given credit to the Congress, today, chose to say that we aren't giving credit to some people, the truth is that I don't believe that's an entirely accurate criticism.''
Earlier in the day, in his hour-long reply, which was later passed by a voice vote, Modi also called upon lawmakers to rise above partisan politics to build a new and modern India, saying the country is more important than politics. He, however, was unsparing in his criticism of the Congress, and targeted it for not recognising the contributions of leaders outside the Gandhi-Nehru family, missing opportunities to empower Muslim women and "crushing India's soul" by imposing Emergency, whose anniversary fell on Tuesday.
Modi quoted a former minister in the Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress government, which brought a law to overrule the Supreme Court ruling on the Shah Bano case to placate Muslims, as recently saying its leaders claimed that it was not the duty of their party to uplift Muslims and "if they want to lie in gutter let them be".
His remarks drew sharp protests from the Congress, prompting Modi to say he will send them a YouTube link of the interview.