Debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha
A AKHTER /AGENCIES/ NEW DELHI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday asked opposition to join a constructive discussion to work out n a solution on the issue of simultaneous polls of Lok sabha and state assemblies. Mr Modi said, thousands of crore rupees are spent in conducting elections and so much time is wasted in holding them.
The Prime Minister was replying to a debate in the Rajya Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament yesterday. Mr Modi asked all parties to rise above politics on this issue, arguing that it will cut down the cost of elections in terms of time, money and manpower.
The Prime Minister also sought constructive suggestions from all parties for government’s healthcare programme Ayushman Bharat which was announced in the recently presented budget. He said, the Centre is always looking for suggestions, feedback and input on it’s schemes. He said that Ayushman Bharat scheme should not be compared with such similar schemes in Britain and America as every nation has its own context, challenges and nature of working. He also requests the opposition parties to form a task force within their parties to give suggestions on the health scheme.
Mr Modi appealed to the opposition parties to extend their support in passing the Triple Talaq Bill and a Bill to give constitutional status to the National Commission of Backward Classes. Mr Modi questioned why the opposition parties stalled these two bills in the last session. Mr Modi hit out at the Congress for its allegation against the government about changing the names of various schemes implemented under UPA regime.
He said, the government does not believe in name changing but it works towards aim changing. He said, the NDA government has worked hard and ushered in a paradigm shift in its functioning. He said innovative projects are being completed in a time-bound manner.
He said, the government always looked for suggestions, feedback and input on various schemes as everyone is working for the interest of the nation and the poor. He said the slogan of Congress-mukt Bharat’ was not coined by him but by Mahatma Gandhi who after independence wanted the Congress party to be disbanded as there was no need for it.
The Prime Minister also countered Opposition criticism of his government’s vision of ‘New India’ and said the Congress wanted Old India marked by emergency and scams. He also questioned the grand old party for the long delay in conferring Bharat Ratna to Saradar Vallabh Bhai Patel and Constitution’s architect B R Ambedkar.
Earlier making a reply to the debate on Motion of Thanks in the Lok Sabha, the Prime Minister hit out at the Congress accusing it of destroying democratic ethos of the country saying the opposition party should not teach the lesson of democracy to others. Mr Modi said, when Congress party was in power in the centre, it used Article 356, ninety times to dethrone the elected governments in the states.
Without naming Rahul Gandhi, he said how he had torn down a Cabinet decision in a press conference during UPA rule. Mr Modi questioned the Congress saying India did not get democracy due to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as Congress wants us to believe. He said, democracy is integral to this nation and is in our culture. He said, if Sardar Patel would have been the first Prime minister of the country, entire Jammu and Kashmir would have been ours.
Remembering former Prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he said when three new states Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh were carved out, Mr Vajpayee showed farsightedness in decision making. He said, the NDA government is building more roads than the UPA government and it has given a strong boost to the infrastructure sector across the nation.The Prime Minister said, in the new aviation policy, the government is focussing on smaller cities and towns to provide air connectivity so that more people could avail the facility of air services.
On Aadhaar, the Prime Minister said, the government is implementing it in a more scientific way to provide the benefits of subsidy to the people of various schemes but the Congress is opposing it. He said, the only people who are adversely affected by the implementation of Aadhaar are dishonest, corrupt and middlemen and this is the real reason why it is being opposed. He said India’s middle class wants good education facilities, infrastructure and affordable housing and ‘Ease of Living’ to which the government is committed.
He also rejected the opposition allegation on employment and cited the data of Kerala, West Bengal, Karnataka and Odisha saying these states have accepted that during last four years, nearly one crore jobs have been created. He said in the last one year 70 lakh people have registered in EPF.
Before completion of his speech, Prime minister appealed to all to build a new India. During the entire speech, members of Congress, Left, NCP and RJD were in the well shouting slogans for financial benefits to Andhra Pradesh and alleged irregularities in Rafale deal. Later both the Houses adopted the Motion of Thanks by rejecting amendments moved by opposition parties.