New Delhi, February 7: Motion of thanks on President's Address in the Lok Sabha by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi became a battleground for Congress party prepared to disrupt and interrupt the speech of the Prime Minister. Undeterred by the ugliest noisy heckling of Congress party, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went ahead pitching his government’s national agenda.
PM Modi firstly thanked all the MPs of Lok Sabha for participating in the debate and sharing insightful points. PM Modi fired at Rahul Gandhi and said, "There must have been a reason why the mother earth was angry." He further said that if anyone finds positive virtue of ‘SCAM’ then mother earth gets very angry and therefore the earthquake occurred yesterday. Meanwhile, PM Modi also informed Lok Sabha about the steps taken by the government in order to protect the people from those areas where the earthquake occurred.
PM Modi also slammed Opposition leader Mallikarjun Kharge on his remark of democracy and said," Yesterday Malikarjunji said there is still a democracy and that's why you became the PM. Thank god you saved the country." PM Modi further said, "Despite a lot of attempts to undermine people's power, democracy triumphed. And because of people's power, a son of a poor mother became the PM of India."
Taking a dig at Mallikarjun Kharge on his remark of democracy, PM Modi also reminded Lok Sabha about how democracy was under threat from 1975 to 1977 when opposition leaders were jailed, newspaper freedom curtailed. There are crores of people when there was not even congress, he said. Citing the 1857 freedom fight, PM Modi said, "There was Lotus even then, as it is now." "Many of us could not fight during freedom fight, but we are serving the country with full honesty," PM Modi said, days after Congress said that no BJP leader participated in the freedom fight.
Defending the preponement of Budget to February 1, the PM said, "We never discussed why Budget used to be presented at 5 PM. It was done to match the timing of UK." "Congress government set up a committee to change the timings. But never prioritize it. We have accepted the recommendations of that committee only," PM Modi added. PM further stated that the railway budget was merged with the general budget because it was misused by political parties.
Taking on demonetisation, PM Modi said that the government was ready for the debate from the day 1 but opposition knew if the debate will get going then BJP government will get the advantage. "Opposition never wanted to debate fearing that Modi will take advantage. You were more interested in giving bytes to TV channels than having a debate," PM Modi said. PM Modi further said that his party is not afraid of elections and to serve the country government will continue to take such bold decisions further. Justifying his decision of demonetization, PM Modi said a huge step was needed to change the cash culture which had become the usual thing in the past.
"A lot of people said that what was the need for the demonetization move when the economy was doing well but for the demonetization move a stronger economy was needed. A weak economy could not have survived the move," the PM said. PM Modi also quoted the Supreme Court’s observation of 24 March 2014, in which the apex court slammed the then Central government of doing nothing to bring back the black money stashed in overseas' banks.
PM Modi also clarified that the steps taken by the government to reduce black money in the country including restrictions imposed on buying bullion in cash. He also said that many agreements signed with other countries on information sharing if any Indian deposits money in those countries' banks.
Defending digitization, PM Modi said, "For each ATM, five policemen are required. More resources are required to shift physical currency from one place to another." He further said that the cashless economy is safer and the transactions will come under the scanner of government due to which corruption will be curbed.
PM Modi also took on the opposition for questioning surgical strikes saying that some leaders forced to change their stance after people overwhelmingly supported the move. "You cannot speak about it but it is bothering you from inside and that is your pain," PM Modi said, among jeers from the Opposition benches.
PM Modi also said, “I was surprised that there were some who made cleanliness also a political issue. Why can't we work together on ushering a Swachh Bharat.” In 2014 elections, one party was campaigning on whether they would give 9 or 12 cylinders. But after coming to power, we asked people whether they were willing to give up the subsidy. So many people gave up subsidy," PM Modi added.
PM Modi further said, Under Mudra Yojna, 2 crore people have got the benefit. people have become self-employed, skill development is a key area, on which we are working. PM Modi asked opposition that why was it that there were crop insurance schemes earlier but farmers were not keen to avail the benefits?
PM Modi further said, “We plugged leakages in MNREGA, seized fake ration card in the country. As many as Rs 49,000 crores saved on poor scholarship, middlemen looted such amount.” Now, middlemen no longer enjoy the benefits they did. We have stopped the corruption and loot,” PM Modi added.
PM Modi further said, “We have allocated 52,000 crore for SCs and STs, but Leader of Opposition deliberately hid the 2013-14 allocation. Today 1.50 lakh crore has been given to 32 crore people through direct benefit transfer scheme. I plugged the loopholes in even smaller loots going on in the country. Then I spoke in Goa about the risk I was taking and the attack I was going to face.” PM Modi also informed that the government distributed 21 crore LED bulbs and saved 11,000 crore on consumers bills.
PM Modi also said, “Railway connectivity has been given a boost, 3,000 km broad gauge railway track has been constructed today.” PM Modi further informed that the roads over 111 kilometres have been constructed in the village, earlier it was only 69 km, we used space technology for road construction, used drone for the railway project. 22 lakh houses have been constructed today, compared to 10 lakh during Congress regime.”
The Prime Minister also praised the nation’s armed forces and said that they are fully capable of defending the nation. In the end, PM Modi said that the Budget 2017 is benefiting 96% of the population.
During the speech of PM Modi, TMC MPs were protesting in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue inside Parliament House complex for electoral reform and state funding of elections. On the other side, Kerala MPs staged a protest demanding sufficient food allocation to Kerala.