Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday derided the opposition alliance INDIA as the most directionless the country had ever seen, and cited reviled names such as East India Company and Indian Mujahideen to assert that people cannot be misled merely by the use of the country’s name.
Multiple sources present at the BJP parliamentary party meeting said Modi was severe in his criticism of the opposition amid the continuing logjam in Parliament and also sounded confident of the ruling dispensation retaining power at the Center for a third term after the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
The opposition has sunk deep in despair and is directionless, he said, according to Union minister Pralhad Joshi.
Its conduct suggests that it has reconciled to remain in opposition for a long time, Modi said.
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Joshi told reporters that Modi likened the current atmosphere in and about India with a “new dawn”, noting the mood of optimism and hope about the country globally.
The Indian economy has grown to be the fifth largest from 10 under his government and will be the third largest in its third term, the prime minister said, asking his party leaders to work with resolve and determination to help develop the country.
With opposition parties rallying around the name ‘INDIA’ for their alliance, the prime minister cited the history of several organisations, including some banned extremist and terror outfits using the country’s name, and panned the grouping as a collection of corrupt leaders and parties.
Even the Indian National Congress, the main opposition party, was named so by an Englishman AO Hume, he said, according to sources.
Organizations which wanted to rule and break the country, which wanted to divide it have used names like ‘India’ and ‘Indian’ to mislead people, he added.
People have now matured and will not be misled by such nomenclature, he asserted.
With the BJP accusing opposition parties of disrupting Parliament, Modi said they have become more irresponsible, making it imperative for the ruling party to behave more responsibly.
The opposition has been demanding that Modi make a statement on the Manipur issue in Parliament first before a debate on the matter can be taken up.
The BJP has insisted that it is willing for a discussion and Home Minister Amit Shah will reply to it, asking the opposition not to see any precondition.
In his address, Modi also referred to the recent meeting of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. The alliance is the legacy of BJP stalwarts like Atal Bihari Vajpayee and LK Advani, he said, emphasizing on maintaining strong and cordial ties with allies.
He also asked party leaders to organize several programmes, including ‘har ghar tiranga’, in connection with Independence Day on August 15 across the country.
There is also a plan to make an ‘Amrit Van’ (Amrit forest) by bringing plants from blocks across the country, party leaders said.