PM Modi takes ‘death’ jibe at Cong, says it’s above criticism
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply on the motion of thanks to President’s address in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, was laced with liberal doses of wit, barbs, sarcasm and poetry.
Delivering his reply to a packed upper house, Prime Minister took a jibe at Congress for wasting its tenure without implementing core development projects.
He also said that like death, Congress too was above criticism, unaffected by any blame. He agreed that many of the schemes of his government were inspired by existing ones; but they existed only on paper during the 10-year-long UPA regime.
However, despite sharp criticism of the main opposition, Modi avoided aggressive posturing. He commended the MPs for accepting the President’s counsel and allowing smooth functioning of both Houses during the ongoing Session. He coaxed Rajya Sabha to pass the pending bills including the one on goods and services tax, GST, saying the House of elders with their wisdom should guide the country.
To ease the atmosphere inside the House, Modi also resorted to poetry. Reciting Urdu poet Nida Fazli’s famous ghazal “safar main dhoop to hogi...” in the packed Rajya Sabha, Modi made known his difficult situation due to key bills stalled in parliament and asked the opposition to ‘change’ its behaviour. He made a passionate appeal to the opposition to allow the government secure passage of crucial economic bills, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Amidst thumping of desks by treasury benches, Modi said, these legislations would take development to a quantum jump from incremental improvement. He claimed, his government has been able to bring about good governance, which has brought transparency, accountability and decentralisation.
Since the government lacks the required numbers in the Rajya Sabha, various key reform legislations, including the GST bill, have been stalled in the upper house. “Safar main dhoop to hogi, jo chal sako to chalo,” he said, invoking the famous Urdu poet and asking the opposition to walk along with him in his difficult journey under the scorching sun.
There was thunderous applause from his colleagues in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and allies with opposition leaders, including his predecessor Manmohan Singh, smiling, when Modi asked the oppositon to change its disruptive tactics.
“Kissi ke waaste raahein kahan badalti hain; tum apne aap ko khud hi badal sako to chalo” (Paths don’t change their course for anybody; if you can change yourself, please do), he pleaded with the Opposition quoting the poet.