New Delhi: Despite their depleted numbers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today extended an olive branch to the opposition, saying he would take them along in decision-making and would work for development of all sections, including Muslims.
Making his first speech in both the Houses of Parliament, he said victory teaches many lessons and that he welcomed criticism so that his government can be “saved from becoming arrogant”.
“Forget the bitterness of the past. We have to work together for the development of the country.
“We can bring about change. I don’t want to move forward without you (Opposition). I don’t have to move forward on the basis of numbers but on the basis of collective decision-making. If necessary, we will move forward with your guidance,” Modi said in his reply to the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address in both the Houses.
After his reply, the motion was adopted unanimously.
In his hour-long speech in the Lok Sabha heard in rapt attention, the Prime Minister rejected the Opposition’s charge that BJP had become arrogant after the landslide victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
Modi, a newcomer to Parliament, acknowledged the fact and said he would like to be guided by seniors even from the opposition and asked them to forgive any wrong words he may use.
But at the same time he did not fail to take a dig at Mallikarjun Kharge, leader of the main opposition party, Congress, who had invoked Mahabharata to remind the BJP like Pandavas Congress would come back to power.
“As Mahabharata was mentioned here (Lok Sabha) yesterday, I am reminded of Duryodhana who said he knew dharma and truth but did not have the inclination to follow that. Likewise, they (Congress) also knew what was the right thing to do but they did not do it. We will do it,” he said amidst thumping of desks by Treasury benches.
Reaching out to the minorities, he referred to the apprehensions expressed by some members over their fate and said his government would work for the development of Muslims.
“I believe if one organ of the body remains weak, can the whole be called healthy? We are committed to this (progress of minorities). We don’t see it as appeasement,” he said.