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'That name is Mrs Indira Gandhi': Modi hits out at harassment charge by states

Hindustan Times logo Hindustan Times 09-02-2023 Kunal Gaurav

Responding to the allegations that the Centre harasses state governments, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday asserted that he understands the importance of federalism since he also served as a state's chief minister for a long time. The prime minister said that the government has repeatedly emphasised “cooperative-competitive federalism”. (Also Read | Language, behaviour of some disappointing for India: PM Modi in Rajya Sabha)

"We, in our policies, have kept national progress in mind and have also addressed the regional aspirations," he said. “The perfect combination of national progress and regional aspiration has been visible in our policy.”

Hitting out at Congress for its history of taking control of state machinery by invoking emergency powers under Article 356, Prime Minister Modi said it was the grand old party that misused Constitutional provisions the most and toppled elected state governments at will.

As Opposition MPs kept shouting slogans linking the prime minister to beleaguered billionaire Gautam Adani, Modi continued, “Not just this, one prime minister used 'Article 356' 50 times, hitting a half-century. That name is Mrs Indira Gandhi.”

He also took a dig at Left parties for siding with Congress by reminding them how the Nehru-led government dismissed the first democratically elected Communist government in Kerala.

As PM Modi started his reply to the Motion of Thanks on the President's address, the Opposition MPs started raising slogans of "Modi-Adani bhai-bhai" in Rajya Sabha. Addressing the Rajya Sabha, PM Modi said, "The country carefully hears what is said in this House. Some MPs are bringing disrepute to this House."

During his 90-minute-long speech, Modi also recounted the achievements of his governments - from eliminating the waiting period for getting cooking gas to opening bank accounts for everyone and providing electricity connections.

“In last 3-4 years, around 11 crore houses have got tap water connections. Talking of empowerment of common people, we started the Jan Dhan account movement. In the last 9 years, 48 crore Jan Dhan accounts were opened across the country,” he added.

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