Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in Lok Sabha during a discussion on Motion of Thanks on the President's address during the Budget Session of Parliament, in New Delhi on Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023. Image Credit: ANI Photo/ SansadTV)

New Delhi: Launching a stinging counter attack on the Opposition without referring to the allegations levelled against the government of favouring the Adani group, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that the weapons of falsehood and lies cannot defeat him, as he is a member of a larger family called the ‘poor of India’.

The Prime Minister also dismissed the allegations levelled against him by the Opposition leaders as baseless.

Replying to the motion of thanks on President’s address in the Lok Sabha, Modi said that at a time when ‘a family’ is busy protecting its own interests, he has stood for the rights of the poor.

Playing the development card, Modi tore into the Opposition by saying that those who indulge in abuses will forever wallow in disappointment and frustration.

Amid continued interruption by the Congress and Trinamool Congress legislators during the Prime Minister’s address, Speaker Om Birla said that many members levelled allegations without any proof during the discussion on motion of thanks, therefore all parties should come together to pass the motion unanimously.

The motion was adopted unanimously in the Lok Sabha.

“The poor people who were only remembered during elections are now getting free ration, uninterrupted electricity, water connection, toilets, gas connection and roofs over their heads, something which was not given to them for all these years,” Modi said.

“The poor will not believe in the cheap allegations levelled against their son Modi,” he said.

He also mentioned how peace is now prevailing in Jammu and Kashmir, which has even given the courage to some people to carry out their ‘Yatra’ (referring to Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra).

In his 90-minute speech, Modi used couplets from Kaka Hathrasi and Dushyant Kumar to take constant jibes at the Opposition.

Due to vote-bank politics, the middle class was long neglected, but the NDA gave this class its due through digital advancement, cheaper home loans, RERA, affordable higher education and reasonably priced medicines, he said.

Amid chants of “Modi! Modi!” by the treasury bench and counter sloganeering of “Adani! Adani!” by the Opposition members, the Congress members staged a brief walk out during the Prime Minister’s address.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi came to the House almost 40 minutes into Modi’s speech, after which his party members returned to the House.

Modi also launched a full-blown attack on the Congress over the various scams which took place during the tenure of the erstwhile UPA regime.

Prior to the commencement of Modi’s reply, members of the Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) staged a walk out from the Lower House.

Launching a vitriolic attack on the Opposition, the Prime Minister said that even as India is emerging as a confident and progressive nation, some people cannot stomach the achievements of its own countrymen.

“Is it just because you lost an election (referring to Gujarat elections)? These people blame EVMs and the Election Commission when they lose elections. They blame Supreme Court when probes are opened against them, they blame the Army and even the RBI, the list is endless,” Modi said.

“These people (referring to the Opposition) feel that just by abusing me they can succeed. Constructive criticism is good for a healthy democracy. However, for the past nine years now, they have only abused me, instead of coming out with constructive criticism,” he said.

He also asked the Opposition to indulge in self retrospection.

Despite several economic crises engulfing the world, it is a matter of pride that India is now the fifth largest economy, Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that it is due to India’s rising economic stability, possibilities and dependability as well as a stable and decisive government that several international economic agencies are now looking at India in a new light.

“We undertook reforms out of conviction, not out of compulsion, because we have a stable and decisive government,” Modi said.

However, despite India emerging as a confident nation which dares to dream, some people are drowned in the ocean of dissatisfaction and hopelessness, the Prime Minister said.

He also listed the achievements of the NDA government in developing railways, airports, inland waterways and highways as well as the peace prevailing in the northeast.