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Modi's guarantee in LS: NDA will cross 400 seats, BJP 370+

Source: PTI
Last updated on: February 05, 2024 21:07 IST
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed confidence that the NDA will get more than 400 seats and the BJP will win at least 370 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.

Modi also made repeated attacks on India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his speech in the Lok Sabha, claiming that the Congress leader thought Indians were lazy and of low intelligence.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to the President's address to Parliament, February 5, 2024. Photograph: ANI/X

Modi said he was convinced that the opposition parties have lost the courage to contest elections and have resolved to stay on the opposition benches for a long time.

"I can gauge the mood of the nation, it will definitely give NDA more than 400 seats and the BJP at least 370 seats," the prime minister said replying to the debate in Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on President's Address.

  He said the third term of the government was not too far.


"At the most 100-125 days are remaining," he said, referring to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. "Abki baar," Modi said, and BJP members joined him in unison to say "400 paar".

"Even Kharge ji is saying the same thing," Modi said referring to Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge's statement in Rajya Sabha.

He said the NDA's third term would be the one that would see big decisions and lay the foundation for the next 1,000 years.

Modi's nearly 100-minute speech was laced with sharp attacks on the Congress and the Gandhi family, and he said the party "never trusted India's potential".

"The Congress got stuck in one family. They could never see and would never be able to see people's aspirations and achievements. The Congress never trusted India's potential. They always considered themselves rulers and belittled people," Modi said while replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address.

Quoting an Independence Day speech by Nehru from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi said, "Nehru had said 'we do not work as hard the Europeans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians or the Americans. Do not think that these communities became prosperous by some magic. They have achieved this by hard work and smartness'."

"He (Nehru) is giving a certificate to those people to belittle Indians. This shows that Nehru ji's thinking about Indians was that they are lazy and of low intelligence. He did not trust their potential," the prime minister said.

Former prime minister Indira Gandhi did not think differently either, Modi said.

"Indira ji had said from (the ramparts of) Red Fort, 'Unfortunately, it is our habit that when a good work is approaching completion, we become complacent. And when an obstacle comes, we lose hope. Sometimes it seems the whole nation has accepted defeat'. Looking at Congress people today, it appears that Indira ji may not have been able to assess the people of the country correctly, but she had done an exact evaluation of the Congress," he said.

This was the thinking of the "royal family" of the Congress about Indians, he said.

The same thinking is visible today also, Modi said, adding that he has immense faith in the ability of the country and its people.

Hitting back at Prime Minister Modi over his criticism of Nehru, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor later said, "Poor Nehru ji has gone since 60 years, and he continues the same lament about Nehru ji. We are flattered that he is so worried about us that he has devoted his entire speech towards the Congress."

Talking about price rise, Modi again lashed out at Nehru and Indira Gandhi, and said history is witness that when the Congress comes, it brings price rise with it.

He quoted Nehru as saying that "there are problems because prices of all things have gone up and the common people are caught up in it."

"After 10 years of this statement, Indira Gandhi said, 'You are facing problems due to price rise...," Modi said.

The prime minister said his government has reined-in inflation despite two wars and the Covid pandemic.

He again attacked Nehru when talking about Kashmir and said the Congress leader's thinking was the root cause of the problems that Kashmir and the country had to face.

The people of Kashmir and of the country had to suffer because of Nehru's mistakes, Modi said.

Turning to the Opposition, Prime Minister Modi said he was convinced that the opposition parties have lost the courage to contest elections and have resolved to stay on the opposition benches for a long time.

Modi said some oppositin leaders were keen to change their parliamentary seats, while some others were planning to move to Rajya Sabha.

"I appreciate the resolution the opposition has taken. Every word of their speeches have confirmed my confidence and that of the country that they have resolved to stay there (in the opposition) for a long time," Modi said and blamed the Congress for the opposition's present condition.

"For several decades you were sitting here (in the treasury benches), but now you have resolved to stay there (opposition benches) for several decades. The people will bless you and keep you there. You will achieve greater heights and will be soon seen in the public galleries (of the House)," the prime minister said.

Modi said that the Budget Session was a good opportunity to make some constructive suggestions, but the opposition members have let go of a good chance.

"You have left the country disillusioned... Leaders have changed but the same tune continues," he said.

The opposition could have given some message to the people in an election year, Modi said, adding that the Congress was responsible for the present state of the opposition.

"Congress had a good opportunity to play a good opposition, but failed in that role. There are other young people in the opposition, but they were not allowed to speak out of fear that it may overshadow a particular person," Modi said in an apparent reference to Rahul Gandhi.

The prime Minister said the Congress may soon have to "shut shop" due to its attempt to launch the same product time and again.

"It's election time, and you should have worked a bit harder, brought something new and sent a message to the people. However, you failed miserably. Let me teach you this very thing.

"The Congress party is responsible for the current condition of the opposition. The Congress got an opportunity to become a good opposition. However, they failed to fulfil their responsibility in the last ten years...," Modi said in Lok Sabha.

Prime Minister Modi also exuded confidence that India will become the third largest economy in the world during his "third" tenure.

He said that in his "third term", the government will take a "big decision" and lay the foundation of a prosperous India for 1,000 years.

The general elections are due in April-May.

"I say with confidence that in our third term, India will become the third largest economy in the world. This is Modi's guarantee," he said.

In September 2022, India overtook the UK to become the fifth-largest economy in the world.

He also said that during the UPA government in 2014, India was the 11th largest economy.

"And today, it is the 5th largest economy and on its way to become the third largest," Modi said, adding that it is because of the speed with which the country is progressing.

He also took a dig at Congress that in the interim Budget in 2014, the then finance minister had said that it would take three decades (by 2044) for India to become the third largest economy.

The prime minister accused the Congress government of 2014 of losing the ability to even dream big. "I feel pity on their thinking."

The Congress, he said, should be happy that India has climbed from 11th to 5th now.

"I assure you that we will not take 20 years," he said, adding the world is watching India growing at a faster pace.

The Congress would have taken at least 100 years to do the same work, which this government has accomplished in the last ten years, he said.

Modi said neither Jawaharlal Nehru nor Indira Gandhi had faith in the ability of people.

"I have confidence and strength of the people of India," he stressed, saying in the first term (2014-19), the NDA government undid the shoddy work of the previous Congress-led government.

In the second term (2019-24), "We have laid the foundation of new India and in the third term, we will move towards Vikshit Bharat (Developed India)," he added.

Talking about the government's initiatives, Modi said GST was introduced, digitalisation was promoted, completed pending schemes and abolished over 40,000 compliances.

He also said about 25 crore people have come out of poverty, and EPFO (Employment Provident Fund Organisation) data indicate that 18 crore new subscribers have been added.

India today has become a hub of innovation, research, and manufacturing and "we need" to become self-reliant in green energy and take lead semiconductors as these initiatives would create quality jobs, Modi noted.

The prime minister hoped that the semiconductor sector would attract huge investments in the coming years, and in that segment, India will contribute significantly.

Efforts are on to skill people to prepare them for Industry 4.0.

Further talking about inflation, he said that it used to be in the double digits during the Congress era.

"History is witness that whenever the Congress comes to power, inflation follows," Modi said, adding that "We have kept the inflation under control" despite two wars and the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Russia-Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas war are still continuing.

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