Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged in a verbal spar with Congress Rajya Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge, seizing the moment to deliver a humorous yet pointed response to Kharge’s recent ‘400 paar’ speech regarding the Congress’s electoral prospects. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi referred to Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee’s recent assertion that the Congress may struggle to secure more than 40 seats in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha election. “I pray that you keep 40 seats with you,” PM Modi quipped.
Taking a lighthearted jab at Kharge’s rhetoric, PM Modi remarked, “As I listened to his speech I wondered how he got the freedom that he spoke so much. Then I noticed that those two commanders were not there. Kharge ji thought aisa mauka phir kahan milega (when will such an opportunity come) and scored fours and sixes.”
In his address, PM Modi didn’t hold back in criticizing the Congress, particularly regarding its leadership and policies. He lambasted the party for its lack of consistency in leadership and principles, raising questions about the Modi government while failing to decide between nationalization and privatization during its rule. PM Modi expressed dismay at the Congress’s penchant for conferring Bharat Ratna upon family members and naming roads after them, highlighting what he perceives as a decline in the party’s values.
PM Modi’s address also delved into historical queries, questioning why the Congress, if uninfluenced by British colonialism, did not rename Rajpath to Kartavya Path or schedule the Budget presentation at a different time. He further questioned the party’s neglect of a war memorial and regional language focus during its tenure.
Responding to Congress’s recent demand for a caste census, PM Modi accused the party of historically opposing the interests of Dalits, backward classes, and indigenous communities. He cited a translation of a letter from Pandit Nehru to the chief ministers, where Nehru allegedly expressed reservations about job quotas, fearing a decline in work standards.
PM Modi’s remarks extended to Congress leader Sam Pitroda, whom he labeled as one of the party’s ‘margdarshak’ currently residing in America. Referencing Pitroda’s controversial ‘hua toh hua’ comment from a previous election, PM Modi criticized Pitroda’s recent comments downplaying Babasaheb Ambedkar’s role in the Constitution, attributing more significance to Nehru.
As PM Modi’s speech concluded, it left the Rajya Sabha abuzz with political commentary and reflections on the ongoing dynamics within India’s political landscape.