Published On: Thu, Feb 8th, 2018

Modi should not give us lessons on democracy as he himself doesn’t respect it: Congress

The Congress on Wednesday dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech in the Lok Sabha as “disappointing” and said that he should not give lessons on democracy to the party as he himself does not respect it.

“It was his (Modi) political speech, election speech… He spoke about Karnataka, about Basweshwarji, about Gautam Buddha’s Licchavi state where the democracy came first,” Congress leader Mallikarjuna Kharge told media outside Parliament referring to the over one-hour long speech of Modi in Lok Sabha in which he fiercely attacked the Congress, during his reply on the Motion of Thanks on the President’s Speech.

“But he himself does not respect democracy here,” Kharge said, adding that “people like Modi speak something and do something else”.

“We are disappointed by the speech. He backtracked from fulfilling our demands. Hence, we staged a walkout,” he added.

The Congress walked out of the Lower House alleging that Modi did not address the issues raised by the MPs, including on the 36 Rafale fighter jet deal with France.

Slamming the Prime Minister for accusing Congress of bifurcating Andhra Pradesh, Kharge said, “In the run up to the 2014 general elections Modi had said that a separate Telangana state would be created if the BJP came to power.”

Kharge also recalled that the BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, while in the opposition, had supported the demand for dividing Andhra Pradesh.

“Let Modi at least say that he was not in favour of creating Telangana and giving an economic package to Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

“He is neither supporting (the bifurcation), while on the other (hand) he is speaking such a language. Hence, I feel saddened that the Prime Minister is not keeping his words,” the Congress MP said.

The Congress leader also accused the Prime Minister of not keeping his word on doing justice to Telangana and giving an economic package, central government aid to the Polavaram irrigation project, a steel factory in Kadappa to the residual Andhra Pradesh after the NDA came to power in 2014.

Slamming Modi, he said, “The lawmakers of Andhra Pradesh’s ruling TDP staged protests in Lok Sabha yesterday (Tuesday) over issues concerning the state when I flagged the matter of Rafale deal in the House.

“While today (Wednesday), the TDP MPs were requested not to raise their issues when the Prime Minister was to address the Lok Sabha,” he said.

Referring to the Prime Minister reciting a poem by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on large-heartedness, Kharge said, “The Prime Minister talked about being large-hearted. He also read out Vajpayeeji’s poem. Despite reading Vajpayeeji’s poem, he did not become large-hearted (person).”

The Congress leader also accused Modi for not touching upon the important issues such as giving minimum support price (MSP) to farmers and doubling their income by 2022.

“He did not say anything new in his speech. He also did not mention anything new in the interest of the country. He also did not give any satisfactory reply to issues we raised,” Kharge said.

“When Modi started speaking about doubling the income of farmers he said that they brought soil testing laboratories, neem coating urea has been brought for them. And by their usage the income of farmers is doubled,” he said.

“By using fertilizers the income of the farmers is not doubled,” he said, adding that Modi did not speak about the promises he made in 2014 about giving 50 per cent cost price and minimum support price to farmers.

“We kept on asking him, but he refused to answer all,” Kharge added.

—IANS