Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India has emerged as a ray of hope for the world as it fights an invisible enemy in the form of coronavirus. Replying to the Motion of Thanks on the President’s address, PM Modi said that predictions were made India cannot survive as a nation, but people of our country proved them wrong.
"We have now emerged as a ray of hope for the world," he said, adding that the new world order is emerging post-COVID and "we will have to be a strong player and 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' is the way forward".
"The world post-COVID is turning out to be very different. In such times, remaining isolated from the global trends will be counter-productive. That is why, India is working towards building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, which seeks to further global good," he said.
PM Modi said that "our doctors, nurses, COVID warriors, Safai Karamcharis, those who drove ambulances...such people and so many others became manifestations of the divine who strengthened India's fight against the global pandemic". He said that "our JAM (Jan Dhan-Aadhaar-Mobile) Trinity made a positive difference in people's lives".
It helped the poorest of the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden, he said, adding that Rs 2 lakh crore given to poor using Jan Dhan account, mobile, Aadhaar during pandemic.
In a swipe at the opposition, he said, "Sadly, who were the people who went to Court against UIDAI."
Great respect for farmers
On farm laws, the PM said that "this House, our government and we all respect the farmers who are voicing their views on the farm bills. This is the reason why topmost Ministers of the government are constantly talking to them. There is great respect for the farmers."
PM Modi said that after the three laws relating to agriculture were passed by Parliament, no Mandi has shut. "Likewise, MSP has remained. Procurement on MSP has remained. These facts can't be ignored," he said.
PM Modi said that three farm laws enacted by the government are important and necessary. The government, he said, has offered to discuss clause by clause three farm laws. "If there are any shortcomings, there is no problem in making changes," he said. "Congress MPs in House debated on colour of the laws (black/white), it would have been better if they had debated on the content and intent of the laws," he added.
Responding to the opposition MPs who stopped PM Modi in the midlle of his address, he said, "Those who are disrupting the House are doing so as per a well-planned strategy. They are unable to digest that people are seeing through the truth. Through their games, the trust of the people can never be won."
The Prime Minister expressed surprise that for the first time a new argument has come that "we did not ask, so why did you give". "Be it dowry or triple talaq, no one had demanded a law for this, but due to being necessary for progressive society, the law was made," he countered.
"The thinking that forces us to ask cannot be the thinking of democracy," the Prime Minister. "The laws are completely optional," he added.
Attacking the Congress, he said, "Congress has taken different stands in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, a divided and confused party like this can do no good to country."
He said that investment that farming needs is not happening. "We need to bring investment and modernise agriculture to empower it," he said.
Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been protesting at Delhi's borders for over two months demanding rollback of the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. Farmers are opposing the laws, terming them against their interest as it will dismantle the mandi system and the MSP structure. Besides, they believe that the laws will give power to corporates over their lands.
However, the three laws -- enacted in September 2020, have been projected by the Central government as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove the middlemen and allow farmers to sell anywhere in the country. The government has repeatedly assured the farmers that these three laws will not do away with MSP and mandis.