Will strive to take everyone along, build consensus: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking to newsmen on arrival at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. (UNI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking to newsmen on arrival at Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday. (UNI)

Modi takes swipe at Cong over Emergency

Says people want responsible Oppn

NEW DELHI, June 24: Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Monday that his Government will strive to take everyone along and build a consensus but also took a swipe at the Congress over the Emergency, calling it a “black spot” on democracy when the Constitution was “discarded”.

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Speaking to reporters minutes before the start of the first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, Modi said the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s electoral victory was proof that the people have put their stamp of approval on his Government’s intentions, policies and commitments towards them.
With the Congress and the opposition, in general, targeting his Government over a host of issues, including the choice for Pro-tem Speaker, Modi’s customary pre-session remarks carried barbs for his rivals as he said that people want debate and diligence, and not drama and disturbance, in Parliament.
People want substance, not slogans, the Prime Minister told reporters, in an apparent reference to several previous sessions that were marred by the absence of a debate due to adjournments caused by frequent run-ins between the treasury and opposition benches.
Buoyed by its strong show in the Lok Sabha polls, in which the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) secured a majority but with reduced numbers, the opposition INDIA bloc is expected to turn up its aggression inside and outside Parliament.
Modi said people want a good and responsible opposition, and added that its conduct has been disappointing in the past. He expressed hopes that the opposition will play its role this time and maintain democratic decorum.
The Prime Minister described his alliance’s win in the polls as grand and a matter of pride, noting that this is the first time in the last 60 years that a government has assumed office for a third straight term.
People have put their stamp of approval on the intentions and policies of his Government, Modi said.
“Our responsibilities have risen by three times. I want to assure the people of the country that we will work three times more in our third term and deliver three times more as well,” he said.
Noting that the oath-taking ceremony for the newly elected MPs will take place in the new Parliament building for the first time, Modi said it was a matter of pride.
Taking a swipe at the Congress without naming it, he said the Emergency’s anniversary falls on June 25, and termed it a black spot on India’s Parliamentary history when the Constitution was discarded and the country turned into a prison.
He called upon people to resolve to protect democracy and democratic traditions so that an emergency is never again imposed in the country. “We will take the resolution of a vibrant democracy and fulfil the dreams of the common people according to the Constitution of India.”
In 1975, the then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, a stalwart Congress leader, imposed the Emergency in the country, suspending civil liberties, jailing opposition leaders and dissidents and effecting press censorship.
Modi’s attack on the Congress for junking the Constitution during the Emergency is significant as the main opposition party and its allies had gone to the polls, accusing the BJP of seeking to change the Constitution if it got a big majority.
There is a view that the opposition’s campaign did get some traction among a section of voters and dented the BJP’s prospects in several States.
Modi reiterated in his remarks that a majority may be needed to run the Government but the country runs on consensus, and stated that his government will always strive to take everyone along and build consensus to serve the country and fulfil people’s aspirations.
The first session of the 18th Lok Sabha, he said, is an extremely important opportunity to render a new pace and height to the country. It will be full of dreams and resolve to make “Shreshtha Bharat” and “Viksit Bharat” by 2047, he added.
The Prime Minister said it has been his Government’s constant effort to serve the country by achieving consensus and taking everyone along to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of 140 crore citizens.
Expressing happiness over a good number of young MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha, he dwelt on the significance of the number 18 in Indian traditions and asked the parliamentarians to come together to fulfil the responsibilities entrusted to them by the people. (PTI)