Congress protected democracy, so Modi could become PM: Kharge
Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge on Monday said the Congress should be thanked for protecting democracy in the country because of which Narendra Modi, coming from a poor family, could become the Prime Minister of India.
Participating in the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address here, Kharge said the Congress had protected democracy for 70 years and slammed the BJP for saying repeatedly that the Congress did not do anything for years.
During the course of Kharge's around one hour-40 minutes long speech, members from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sparred with the Congress members several times, as Kharge launched an attack on the government.
The long speech also forced Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to ask him to conclude repeatedly, with one of the ruling party members even quoting a rule urging the Speaker to force him to stop the address.
Kharge also took on the government over demonetisation, stating that the Prime Minister should apologise for the deaths that happened due to banning Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes.
"I think you brought Green Revolution. And White Revolution in your Gujarat also came in your time... (Verghese) Kurien was also born in these times -- everything happened in the last two and half years," Kharge said sarcastically.
"We brought Green Revolution to feed the people, we brought White Revolution... You question what happened in 70 years, if nothing had been done, you would not have been alive, there would not have been democracy, the Constitution would not have been protected," he said.
"We protected the Constitution. If Modi came from a poor family and became the Prime Minister, the credit goes to the Congress, which kept democracy alive," Kharge added.
Prime Minister Modi was present in the Lok Sabha at the time Kharge made the remarks.
As members from treasury benches pointed at the Emergency, the Congress leader said: "At that time there was declared Emergency, today there is undeclared Emergency."
"In the name of 'Sanatan Dharma', you want people to be divided," he added.
Talking about demonetisation, the Congress leader said: "So many people died, at least the Prime Minister should have apologised to the people.
You can apologise even now," he said.
Kharge said government should inform the nation how much black money was recovered post demonetisation, and added: "PM knew elections were coming, he wanted people to forget the promised Rs 15 lakh."
He also alleged that people were selectively informed about demonetisation.