Key Takeaways from PM Modi’s speech in the Rajya Sabha, swipes at Opposition

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday quoted former prime ministers when he spoke about the corruption, economic issues and reservation policies in a well-crafted speech in the Rajya Sabha.

Starting his speech with a swipe at the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Prime Minister Modi referred to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge as ‘entertainment’ the house was missing.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that President Droupadi Murmu in her address spoke about ‘India’s potential, strength, and bright future.’

‘I couldn’t say this on that day, but I want to thank (Mallikarjun) Kharge Ji. I was listening to Kharge and enjoyed a lot. The entertainment that we are missing in Lok Sabha was completed by you (pointing to Kharge),’ said Prime Minister Modi as he replied to the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha.

PM Modi criticized the previous Congress government and accused them of ‘ceding the country’s land to the enemy.’

He also accused the Congress of creating narratives to ‘divide the country’ claiming the grand old party is trying to create a ‘north-south divide.’

PM Modi opined that Congress remained ‘inspired by the Britishers’ and continued with the ‘symbols of slavery’ for decades.

‘If you (Congress) were not inspired by the British, then why did everyone have to wait for Modi to change Rajpath to Kartavya Path. If you were not inspired by the British, then why no war memorial was built for our soldiers who kept sacrificing their lives for the country,’ he said.

Referring to the Emergency, PM Modi said that Congress ‘strangled democracy for power’ and dismissed democratically-elected governments.

‘The Congress strangled democracy for power and dismissed democratically-elected governments. The Congress has been against Dalits, backwards, tribals and had it not been for Babasaheb Ambedkar, they would not have got any reservation,’ he said.

Speaking about the Congress’s pitch for a nationwide caste-based census as well as the topic of reservations, including the promise to remove the 50% reservation cap by, PM Modi quoted former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s letter to the chief ministers.

‘The Congress that didn’t give reservations to OBC, one who never gave reservations to the poor from general category, the one who didn’t consider Babasaheb for Bharat Ratna and instead kept on giving Bharat Ratna to their family members, they are giving us lessons on social justice today.’

‘We kept on listening to each of your words with patience, but you have come today with the intent to not listen to us. However, you cannot muzzle my voice. The people of the country have given strength to this voice,’ the PM thundered.

‘A challenge has come from West Bengal that the Congress would not be able to cross 40 seat-mark (in 2024 Lok Sabha elections). I pray that they are able to save 40 (seats). This party (Congress) has an outdated thought process as well. Now, they have also outsourced their work,’ PM Modi said, referring to a recent remark by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

The Trinamool Congress boss and breakaway INDIA bloc member had last week doubted the Congress’ ability to win the general election.

‘Today, the BSNL that you destroyed is moving towards Made in India 4G and 5G. HAL is showing record revenue generation and it has become Asia’s largest helicopter manufacturing factory. We have turned around the story. Today LIC’s shares are breaking records…’ he added.

In his speech, Modi said that he is confident that the NDA will cross 400 seats, of which 370 seats will be of the BJP.

Meanwhile, the Parliament’s Budget Session has been extended till February 10 to allow for the presentation of a White Paper to contrast the condition of the Indian economy before and after 2014.

On Tuesday, the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2024 and Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) Orders (Amendment) Bill, 2024 were passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The Lok Sabha passed a bill on ‘cheating,’ to address malpractices and irregularities in competitive examinations, introducing strict penalties including a maximum jail term of 10 years and fines up to INR 1 crore.