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'Thought He Was Referring to Bengal': PM Modi Returns Derek O'Brien's Salvo With Dig at TMC

PM Narendra Modi speaking in Rajya Sabha

PM Modi was replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha on Monday where he spoke on multiple issues including the farmers’ protest, China standoff and Covid vaccination programme.

Taking a dig at TMC MP Derek O'Brien, PM Narendra Modi referred to TMC MP’s speech on freedom of Speech and intimidation and asked him if he was referring to Bengal or the entire country.

"I was listening to TMC MP Derek O’Brien. He has chosen some good words like "Freedom of Speech" and "Intimidation" in his narration. While listening to his good words, I was wondering if he is referring about West Bengal or the country," PM Modi said.

He was saying this while replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha on Monday where he spoke on multiple issues including the farmers’ protest, China standoff and Covid vaccination programme.

Taking a jibe further on Derek's 'Freedom of Speech' and 'Intimidation' words, PM Modi added, "He sees all this for 24 hours, so he may have said the same here too.”

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Soon, the MPs from Trinamool Congress staged a walkout as the PM replying to the Motion of Thanks to President’s address.

Responding to the Congress MP Pratap Singh Bajwa, PM said, “Bajwa sahab from Congress was also speaking. He was speaking in details and at one time, I thought he will touch the Emergency (period) during his speech. But he stopped just one step away from reaching Emergency period in his speech. India was disappointed with the Congress party and now you are doing it again too.”

On various adversities that India is passing through including the Covid pandemic, the Prime Minister said, "We all are fighting a lot of adversities. No one would have thought we will pass through such difficult times. We faced this difficult time and accepted the challenges. Now we are emerging from it.”

He said, "From the beginning of pandemic, the entire world is looking at India. Initially, when there were uncertainty over its medicine than world looked at Indian pharmaceuticals for the medicines. Even today, they are looking at us because India has undertaken the biggest vaccination programme."

Assembly elections are due in West Bengal in April-May this year and the BJP has already launched a massive aggressive campaign highlighting farmers’ issues to oust Trinamool Congress government in the state.

Yesterday, in a public rally in Haldia in West Bengal, PM Modi accused Mamata Banerjee of blocking central schemes and termed her rule as "Nirmamta Sarkar".

first published:February 08, 2021, 12:30 IST