Prime Minister Narendra Modi hints at corporate Entry in farm sector

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday hinted at a paradigm shift in policy to pave the way for the corporate sector’s entry in agriculture, which was never considered in the past seven decades. He underscored that there was a certain urgency to make corporate investment in agriculture to take it to a new height. PM Modi was speaking during an hour-long reply to the 2-day debate in the Lok Sabha on a motion of thanks to the President. The House passed the motion by a voice vote, rejecting all amendments. PM Modi hit out at the Congress on the darkest patch in its history – the Emergency – and allegations of nepotism against the Gandhi family.

Recalling the horror of the emergency clamped in 1975, he said that on the fateful June 25 night, the Constitution and the soul of the country was trampled upon, media was gagged, all big leaders were put in jails and India was turned into a prison just because one person (Indira Gandhi) did not want to lose power. Modi said that the party and its leaders had "risen so high" that they "could not see the ground". "I wish you go even higher," he said, drawing laughter from lawmakers. Accusing the Congress of honouring only members of the Nehru-Gandhi clam, Modi said, "I challenge the government which was in power between 2001 and 2014 to mention any instance when they happened to praise the work of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government? Did they ever speak about the good work of Narasimha Rao ji? The same people did not even speak of Manmohan Singh ji in the Lok Sabha in this debate...They never recognised anybody outside the family."

"There are some people who feel only a few names have contributed to the national progress. They only want to hear those few names and ignore the others. We think differently, we feel each and every citizen has worked for India's progress," he added. As against that, they had bestowed the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award, on former President Pranab Mukherjee despite him being a Congress leader all his life. Underscoring his government's focus on welfare programmes, PM Modi said that the people chose the BJP in 2014 because they were fed up with the Congress government. "In 2014, the country said 'inse toh bachenge' (we will be spared these people, meaning the Congress) and bought us to power," the Prime Minister said.

Modi said the Congress lost an opportunity in uplifting the Muslim women, even when the Supreme Court came to its assistance with its Shah Bano judgment. He read out an alleged statement of "some" minister in the Congress government claiming that uplift of the Muslims is not the responsibility of the Congress and it is better if they languish in gutters. There were loud protests from the Congress benches, but an unyielding Modi quipped that he would send them a "Youtube link." None responded to remind him that "Youtube" did not exist those days. Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, PM Modi went on to appeal to all to revive the 1942 spirit of "Azadi" but with a difference; it should be the spirit to live for the country, unlike then, when the spirit was to die for the country. But this cannot be the agenda of the government or a party, but for the entire country; he therefore invited all political parties to join hands in revival of the spirit when India celebrates the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi this year and the 75th anniversary of India's Independence in 2022.

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