Congress tags Narendra Modi govt 'copycat'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 11 2014, 03:16am hrs
Narendra ModiGujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in New Delhi. PTI
Congress today charged the Narendra Modi government with "copying" its agenda in the last 10 years in the President's address and said it had already implemented 90 per cent of the schemes and policies listed out by the NDA.

Leading the Congress' attack while speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said BJP has only listed out programmes that have already been implemented by the UPA.

Complimenting BJP for its electoral victory, Azad said Congress will play a constructive role as an opposition, but reminded them of the responsibility given by the people as "janadesh, kursi, paisa" (verdict, money and power) do not remain permanently with anyone.

Congress also targeted BJP for promising welfare of minorities and said "this is like music to my ears" which "we have yearned for years to hear" and wondered if it was a change of heart for the good or just lip service.

Taking a dig at the BJP slogan of "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (all together, development for all), he said it is a mere translation of Manmohan Singh's "inclusive growth" model.

"There is nothing in this that we can support. It is a copy of our schemes and programmes. We have already implemented 90 per cent of the programmes listed in this address. We have done all these programmes," he said.

"The Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas slogan is a mere translation of Dr Manmohan Singh's model of inclusive growth," he said, adding that he was trying to understand what the slogan of minimum government and maximum governance actually meant.

On the government's intent to eradicate poverty, Azad said it is a "good slogan" and the entire opposition and Congress will give a gold medal if they achieve success, but questioned in what time frame they will achieve so and where will the resources come from.

On BJP government's bid to reach out to minorities by promising their welfare in the President's address, Azad said it is good they have "realised late than never" and added that its top priority should be guarantee the security of their life and property.

Reciting Urdu couplets, Azad hinted at trust deficit over BJP's intention towards minorities.

He said whenever Congress government used to announce any programme for the welfare of minorities, it was termed as "appeasement" by BJP.

"This is like music to my ears that BJP talks of programmes for minorities. Our ears were yearning for last 65 years to hear this. It is not just I who wanted to hear this but the entire Opposition. The revolution is not your getting 282. The biggest revolution is this (BJP's talk about welfare of minorities)," Azad said.

The Congress leader also warned that the BJP will have to take everyone along and not just merely say that. "This government will have to provide a guarantee to protect the life and property of the minorities, which should be the top priority for this government," he said.

He appeared to be reaching out to non-BJP parties like DMK, Left, SP, BSP and J-U, saying it will be a matter of great happiness for them as well if it was really a "change of heart" of BJP.

Azad, who had been a Health Minister in UPA-II government, used the allegory of an infant to describe the condition of the newly-elected BJP-led NDA government saying infant mortality rate is maximum within the first week of birth to 28 days. "You are in that stage," he said.

He said that even for copying some knowledge is required and added that the government could have at least changed the language while doing so with UPA's programmes.

Azad took a jibe at BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi saying, "You talk sky high after getting 282 seats. We too had got the mandate of 411 Lok Sabha seats...whoever took pride over mandate, lost the chair and got finished."

Taking potshots at BJP for its slogan "Ek Bharat, Shreshta Bharat", Azad said Congress knows about only one India wondering "from where did this other India come in last 15 days."

He also ridiculed the 'Minimum Government, Maximum Governance' pitch of the government wondering whether it meant that only one person will run the government. "I did not understand it. May be, if I remain in Parliament for 50 more years, I will get to know of it," he said.

Referring to exchange of gifts between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, Azad said it is high time the BJP government started substantial dialogues.

"You have been voicing that a befitting reply would be given to neighbouring nations for their acts. You will talk to them seeing eye to eye. But you extended a warm welcome. Aap ney to let kar swagat kiya (You prostrated to welcome him).

Now after the exchange of gifts, start substantial talks," he said.

Listing out UPA's achievements, he said minimum support price was raised to the maximum and there was record production of foodgrains at 257 million tonne (MT) in 2012-13 and 264 MT in 2013-14.

He said the UPA laid stress on higher education. "The number of IITs and IIMs has been raised to 44 from 17. We have set up 1,600 ITIs and 10,000 vocational schools," he said, and also cited UPA's achievements in health and defence sectors.