New Delhi, Feb 7: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spoke in the Lok Sabha responding to President's address. Thanking the MP's he said: "Various members of the House added vigour into the debate and shared insightful points. I thank the MPs for their participation."
Citing Indira Gandhi's Emergency Era, Modi said: "We remember how democracy was under threat from 1975 to 1977, when opposition leaders were jailed, newspaper freedom curtailed. It is due to 'Jan Shakti' that the person belonging to a poor family can become the prime minister of India." Taking a dig at the Congress, he said Congress feels only one family got Independence for India. "The root of the problem lies there. I never heard them speak about the role of Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh and many other freedom fighters who laid down their lives for the country," he said.
"There are many people like me, who could not die for the nation during the freedom struggle but we are living for India and serving the country. Somewhere on the way, 'Jan Shakti' was forgotten. We do not accept this."
Talking about the Swachh Bharat campaign Modi said that he was surprised there were some who made cleanliness a political issue. " Why can't we work together towards Swachh Bharat," he asked.
Raking the demonetisation issue, Modi said that the government was ready from Day 1 to discuss the issue, but members of the Opposition were busy giving TV bytes instead of having a debate on the issue. "It does not matter how big you are, you will have to give back what belongs to the poor. My fight is for the poor and giving the poor their due. This fight will continue," Modi said.
"Corruption begins with currency. Earlier people used to ask 'how much is gone', now people ask 'how much has Modi brought back'. This is how discourse has changed after we have assumed office," Modi said. Modi said that good economy was needed ad hence, this was a proper time. "Like Swachh Bharat, demonetisation is a movement to clean India of corruption and black money," said Modi.
Questioning the several alterations in MNREGA, Modi asked: "MNREGA has been modified 1035 times to suit requirements of the common man?"
Modi urged the Opposition to work together with the government. "You want to oppose Modi, you should do it. But lets work together to promote the good things. Changes you all are seeing are not happening suddenly, proper planning has been put in place," he said.
Highlighting the achievements of the government, Modi said: "22 lakh 27 thousand houses were constructed in one year. We have successfully helped install 21,000 crore LEDs, saving public's Rs 11,000 crore. We have achieved 100% urea neem coating. Rs 7,633 crore leakage in social programs has been stopped by us."
Modi said: "Surgical strike was a big decision but none is questioning about it like they do about demonetisation. Many statements were made by political leaders just 24 hours before the surgical strike but their language changed after looking at nation's mood."