New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday broke his silence in Parliament to denounce communalism and to assert that his government stood for prospering of all religions while he offered to make changes if necessary in the land bill in farmers' interest.
In a 75-minute speech in the Lok Sabha, combining aggression against the Congress with appeals to the opposition, he declared that as Prime Minister, "it was his responsibility not to allow anaap shanap (ridiculous) comments on religion or discrimination on religious basis". Against the backdrop of criticism that he maintained silence over statements made by fringe elements, Modi said "He has thousand means to shut their mouths but he cannot be expected to waste time by making comments on all these statements".
In a spirited reply to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in Lok Sabha, he also expressed willingness to make changes in the land bill as he reached out to opposition for support, saying they should shed politics and ego and not make it a prestige issue. Again he taunted Congress saying it cannot be arrogant that the land law passed by it is the best. Responding point by point to the issues raised by the opposition, he took pot-shots at Congress repeatedly while referring to corruption, blackmoney, MNREGA and coal block allocations.
The Prime Minister was particularly severe on the Congress on its pet scheme MNREGS calling it a living monument of poverty in the country even 60 years after independence." Do you think, I will put an end to the scheme. My political wisdom does not allow me to do it. This is a living monument of your failure to tackle poverty in 60 years. With song and dance and drum beat, I will continue with the scheme", he said amidst thumping of desks by the ruling benches and consternation among the Congress members.
During the debate, the Congress members had accused the Modi government of not implementing the MNREGS.