Opposition parties termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion about the NDA winning 400-plus seats in the Lok Sabha elections a “dream” and claimed his “high-sounding rhetoric” in Parliament on Monday showed he was not confident of re-election.
The Prime Minister replied to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address. He expressed confidence that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will get more than 400 seats and the BJP at least 370 seats in the Lok Sabha elections, due in April-May.
Reacting to the Prime Minister’s speech, CPI leader Binoy Viswam said, “This high-sounding rhetoric of the Prime Minister itself shows he is not confident about victory, he is afraid of elections.” “He is very sure that people will make a judgment on him because his government was a government of inaction and treachery, a government which forgot its promises, a government that only did harm to the country and its secular credentials,” he told PTI.
He asked what happened to the government’s promises and guarantees, and what has it done for women, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. “What about the two crore jobs it promised?” he said.
Mr Viswam also asked why the prime minister has not visited the northeastern state of Manipur, which has been witnessing ethnic violence since May last year, yet.
“We ask the Prime Minister why he is not ready to go to Manipur and apologise to the women of Manipur…,” he said and asserted that the opposition bloc INDIA will win 400 seats and come to power at the Centre.
CPI(M) leader John Brittas also took a swipe at the prime minister over his assertion about the BJP winning 370 seats in the Lok Sabha polls.
“In this country everyone has the right to dream, the PM also has the right to dream about having 400 or 500 seats. But the reality is different. The people of the country will decide their course of action themselves rather than being dictated by the dreams of someone else,” Mr Brittas told PTI.
Congress MP Manickam Tagore took a jibe at PM Modi and asked if he would not take oath if his party missed the 370-mark in the polls.
“Will Mr Modi not take oath if they don’t touch 370? He should answer first. This kind of dream of BJP has always failed, it is going to be ‘India Shining’ part two now,” he said, referring to the campaign slogan of the BJP-led NDA in the 2004 Lok Sabha polls.
On the Prime Minister’s sharp attack on the Congress, Mr Tagore said he cannot “complete” a speech without talking about Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. His “bread and butter” depends on Indira Gandhi and Nehru, he said.
Lok Sabha MP Danish Ali, who has been suspended by his Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), used PM Modi’s assertion about the NDA winning 400-plus seats to raise doubts on the reliability of electronic voting machines (EVMs). “Maybe he has so much confidence because of EVMs? He should at least maintain the dignity of the post. His arrogance will be shattered in 2024,” Ali said.
Trinamool Congress leader Sushmita Dev said the Prime Minister’s remarks on women empowerment were nothing but “tokenism”, and referred to sexual harassment charges levelled against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh by some women wrestlers.
She also referred to BJP leaders using “unparliamentary words” against party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
“…BJP knows nothing about respecting women. Whatever we see is nothing but hollow tokenism,” she said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)