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'Higher You Go, Happier I Will Be': Modi's Wish for Congress Has Pain for Gandhis, Applause from NDA

Turning the tables on the grand old party after its leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Modi can't diminish his party's 'high' stature, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said 'the higher you become, the happier I will be.'


Updated:June 26, 2019, 9:39 AM IST

New Delhi: Rubbing salt into the wound of Congress after poll rout, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that the party and its leaders had "risen so high", and wished them luck to go even higher. The remark, lacked with sarcasm, drew cheers from the NDA lawmakers.

"You have risen so high that you have been uprooted from the ground. Our aim is to remain closer to the people at the grassroots and strengthen them," he said in Lok Sabha while replying to the customary motion of thanks on the President's address.

Turning the tables on the grand old party after its leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said Modi can't diminish his party's "high" stature, the PM said "the higher you become, the happier I will be."

Mocking the Congress, Modi said he is being cursed for not putting its leaders in jail, an apparent reference to its top leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and then retorted that at least they are on bail and "enjoying themselves".

In his speech on Monday, Chowdhury had attacked the government over its criticism on the alleged 2G and coal scams, saying if Congress leaders were involved in corruption, then why Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were sitting in Parliament and not in jail.

Further targeting the Congress, he said his dispensation gave Bharat Ratna to veteran Congress leader and former president Pranab Mukherjee, but the opposition party couldn't think about bestowing the same honour to former prime ministers and its leaders like P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. "Thus far and no further," he said in English, asking Congress to not repeat this charge again.

Modi pointed out that he has acknowledged contributions of all prime ministers and prominent leaders in India's development.

Did the Congress government during 2004-14 ever recognise the Vajpayee government's work, he asked, adding it didn't acknowledge even the Rao government's contributions. "Your leaders in their speeches during the debate did not even mention Manmohan Singh," he said.

Noting that it was the Emergency's 44th anniversary on Tuesday, Modi said it trampled over the spirit of the Constitution, gagged the media and bullied the judiciary.

He also quoted first PM Jawaharlal Nehru, who has often been at the receiving end of his criticism in the past, describing him as a great and asking MPs to work together to create a sense of duty in society as envisaged by the Congress stalwart.

BJP's win in the Lok Sabha polls with a bigger mandate than 2014 shows people approved of its work after testing it on all parameters."We didn't not divert from our development path, we didn't dilute our development agenda," he said.

Modi said in 2014, people voted for the BJP as they wanted to give him a chance and also get rid of the Congress-led UPA, but this time, they backed his government's work.

With his pet project Make in India often questioned by opposition for its output, he said it's the need of the hour."Let it be our collective endeavour to make India a five trillion dollar economy," he said.

Modi said his government had taken a number of important decisions since coming to power last month for a second term. Invoking the upcoming 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, whom he described as the country's greatest inspiration, and the 75th anniversary of India's freedom in 2022, he asked lawmakers to rise above politics and party lines to build a new and modern India.

(With inputs from PTI)

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