New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched a scathing attack on the Congress in the Lok Sabha, calling the MNREGA scheme the biggest example of the party's failure while in power over a decade.
As part of the debate in a motion of thanks for President of India Pranab Mukherjee's speech, the Prime minister taunted the Congress as the party president Sonia Gandhi sat in the audience. He said, “I will never abolish the MNREGA scheme, because it is a living example of Congress' failures. But we will make additions to MNREGA for the welfare of the people."
"After 60 years, people are being paid to dig the ground," Modi said. “Issue is not whether names of schemes have been changed or not, but the issue is problems which need to be addressed. We are trying to address "old" problems which we inherited,” he added.
Modi's remarks came in the backdrop of the party repeatedly saying that the NDA government had only repackaged all of UPA's schemes and policies and had done nothing new for the betterment of the country.
The prime minister also took up the issue of land ordinance which has been termed anti-farmer by many. After asking the party's MPs to defend the legislation, the PM today said that he was willing to tweak it if anything was deemed to be anti-farmer.
Justifying his government's ordinance, Modi said, "The current act has huge limitations. If there is anything against farmers in Land Act, I am ready to change it. We should not be so arrogant not to correct any wrong."
Speaking on the opposition by the Congress on Land Acquisition Bill, he said, “We were with you when you passed the Land Bill, we knew you were rushing through it with an eye on political gains.”
In his speech, PM Modi also took jibes at Congress for its defeat in the recently held elections. “Land acquisition lekar maidan mein aye the, itni kam seats Congress ki kabi nhi ayin, agar act kisaano ko pasand ata, to aap jeet te (You took your achievement of Land acquisition to contest the elections. Congress had never got such a small number of seats before, if farmers had liked the act, you would've won).”
Seeking support of the opposition in the land bill Prime Minister Modi asked them not to make it a prestige issue. The prime minister said he was ready to give due credit to them.
On his foreign visits, Modi said, "Foreign tours are to find solutions to various problems."
Talking about the corruption under UPA rule, the prime minister said, "The country was shocked when it found out it lost Rs 1.86 lakh crores in the coal scam. People earlier were scared to talk about black money, now the same people are talking enthusiastically about black money."
"In the last three years, the government had not formed SIT on black money despite the SC's order. No one will be spared if found guilty in black money probe, we're not vindictive, we work for the welfare of people," he said, adding, "Do not talk about corruption in context of politics, this results in pointless mud-slinging," he said.
Breaking his silence on communalism, PM Modi said, "No one can take the law in their hands and discriminate on the grounds of community."