In a stinging attack on the Gandhi family, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asked why they do not use “Nehru” as their surname and said India is not a slave to any family.
The Prime Minister also accused the grand-old-party of toppling several state governments during their rule at the Centre.
“If in some event, Jawaharlal Nehru’s name is not used. Some people get annoyed… Some had problems with the names of schemes of government and Sanskrit words in the names. I read in a report that 600 govt schemes were in the Gandhi-Nehru family’s name…I don’t understand why people from their generation don’t keep Nehru as their surname, what’s the fear and shame?” he asked.
Replying to the ‘motion of thanks’ debate on President Droupadi Murmu’s address in Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister pointed out that the NDA government knows the importance of cooperative federalism and considered national progress and regional aspirations while rolling out policies.
Modi alleged former prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi brought down state governments as per their whims and fancies.
“It has been alleged that we give trouble to states. I have been chief minister of a state for several years and well know the importance of federalism. This is the reason we have emphasized cooperative federalism… Our policies have kept national progress in mind and addressed regional aspirations. We have headed towards making the dream of ‘Developed India’ true by 2047. Those who are in opposition now had in the past taken away states’ rights,” he said.
The Prime Minister highlighted that Congress dismissed state governments using Article 356 for 90 times. Continuing his tirade, PM Modi also reminded present allies of Congress- Sharad Pawar and DMK– that their governments were brought down by Congress in past.
“Which party did use Article 356 for 90 times? 90 times elected governments were toppled? A Prime Minister used Article 356 for 50 times. She hit a half-century. Her name is Indira Gandhi. She toppled state governments 50 times. In Kerala, Pt Nehru didn’t like the left government and he toppled the government within some years. In Tamil Nadu, Congress dismissed the governments of MGR and Karunanidhi. MGR’s soul is watching you (DMK) where you are standing now,” he said.
“I respect Sharad Pawar. In 1980, 45-year-old Sharad Pawar was Maharashtra CM. They brought down his government as well. Today he is standing with them. They gave trouble to every regional leader. NTR’s government was also toppled when he was abroad for his treatment,” he added.
During PM Modi’s speech, Opposition members raised “Modi Adani Bhai Bhai” and “Adani Ki Dalali Band Karo”.
Later, the Prime Minister said, “The entire country is watching that ‘ek akela kitno pe bhari pad raha hai’ (one man is giving them nightmares). They have to take turns to raise slogans but I am giving answers for more than an hour alone. I live for the country and have dedicated my life to the nation. That’s why these people who play politics don’t have that courage.”