INDIA. New Delhi: Following an age-old tradition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi replied to the motion of thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha to the joint sitting of Parliament, on 10 February and was hopeful that India will emerge as a strong country in a post-coronavirus world.
As expected, he began his speech by highlighting India’s successful fight against Covid-19 and gave full credit to 130 crore Indians, and said it is their discipline that saved the country from pandemic despite adverse predictions and the country has now become a ray of hope for the world. “The post-COVID world is turning out to be very different. In such times, remaining isolated from global trends will be counter-productive. We’ll have to emerge as a strong player. That is why India is working towards building an Aatmanirbhar Bharat,” Modi said.
He complimented the relentless work of health care and frontline workers during the pandemic, and said, “The way India has managed the coronavirus crisis is a turning point and the world has seen its success.”
He also praised women’s power in the Parliament, saying, “During the discussion on the President’s speech, a large number of women MPs took part. This is a great sign. I want to congratulate the women MPs who enriched the House proceedings with their thoughts.”
During his speech, he touched various issues that India is facing today and blamed the opposition for playing a misleading role, and again allayed apprehensions on the new farm laws, and said the laws are meant to offer more options to farmers and there are no restrictions on the old agriculture ‘mandi’ (market), and also will not take away their lands or affect Minimum Support Price.
The prime minister said even after the laws came into force no agriculture ‘mandi’ has been shut anywhere in the country and the minimum support price (MSP) system has remained in place.
He added, “This House, our government, and all of us respect farmers who are voicing their views on the farm bills, and our topmost ministers are constantly talking to them. There is great respect for farmers.” He charged the Opposition with misleading farmers through well-thought-out attempts to shout and create chaos political conspiracy.
Ge said, his govt. is ready to discuss clause by clause every provision of the three farm laws. If there are any shortcomings, it was ready to make changes.
At the same time, he also said that reform is necessary for the agriculture sector as one cannot deal with 21st-century agriculture with an 18th-century mindset. “Until we bring investment and new technologies to our agriculture, we will not be able to make our farming sector strong. We need to go beyond growing only wheat and paddy,” said Modi.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tore into the Opposition while calling the farmer protest ‘Pavitra’ (scared) and felt it was hijacked by ‘Andolanjeevis’.
In the meanwhile, Congress walked out of Lok Sabha, and this made PM Modi remark that Congress has taken different stands in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. “A divided and confused party like this can do no good to the country,” he added.
In his address, the PM said his government is trying everything to bring changes in the country and asserted that “if the intention is good, then the results will also be good”. He also took a potshot at those ‘groups of people’ who are saying these reforms are unnecessary. “I am surprised that for the first time a new argument has come, we did not ask, so why did you give. Be it issue of dowry or triple talaq, no one had demanded laws to deal with them, but the laws were made as they were necessary for a progressive society,” he said.
Modi also highlighted the importance of the private sector, saying that while the public sector is essential, the role of the private sector is also equally important.