Prime Minister Narendra Modi speech today in Rajya Sabha was again marked by a strikingly conciliatory note, he looks to have abandoned the conflict approach against Congress. In his address, PM asked parties to rise above partisan politics, said any incident of “atrocity” is a “blot” on the society and the nation and asserted that unity and harmony is the only way to go forward. Though he did not specify any such incident, the statement may be seen a reference to the Dadri case where a Muslim man was lynched over beef-eating rumours. Here are top 10 noteworthy quotes in PM’s speech:
1. In a striking comment, PM Narendra Modi said questions cannot be raised over the patriotism of any of the 125 crore Indians and thereby sought to deflect the criticism by those who raised questions over ‘intolerance’ and some people making controversial remarks asking dissenting people to ‘go to Pakistan’. “Nobody can raise questions over patriotism of the 125 crore citizens of the country. Nobody needs to give certificate of patriotism every now and then.”
2. Narendra Modi added for good measure, “if there is any incident of atrocity against anybody, it is a blot on all of us, for the society as well as the nation. We should feel the pain and take this to ensure such things do not happen.”
3. Narendra Modi underlined the ‘mantra of ekta’, saying there can be “many excuses for disintegration” in a diverse country like India but ways should be explored to keep the country united.
4. Narendra Modi pitched for a bipartisan approach to all issues and decried attempts to introduce partisanship or politics on any issue concerning the nation. And ike in the Lok Sabha last week, Modi struck a conciliatory approach towards the opposition at a time when some crucial bills are stuck in the House.
5. Underlining that the country cannot move forward by ‘tu tu, mai mai’ (bickerings), Narendra Modi advocated the need for consensus while decrying the tendency to link everything to politics.
6. “I give more importance to Rajya Sabha, the House of Elders. There cannot be any discussion where there are no elders and Rajya Sabha has its own unique role,” he said.
7. He called for cooperation between the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha and invoked Gopalaswami Ayyangar, a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee and Leader of Rajya Sabha, to underline that in case of a dispute, the view of the Lower House will prevail. Quoting Ayyangar, Modi said “the other House (Rajya Sabha) should not be an obstruction in the way of framing laws. There cannot be any bigger guide for this House (Rajya Sabha).” This assumes significance as a number of bills passed by the Lok Sabha have got stuck in Rajya Sabha. He said even Jawaharlal Nehru had advocated harmony between the two Houses. “It is important on how we should run this House… It is very important. The nation is looking at us.”
8. “Unity and harmony is the tradition of India. We have to continue to explore reasons for strengthening the unity of the country. There will be many excuses for disintegration in a diverse country like India. It is our responsibility to unite people,” the Prime Minister said.
9. Asserting that the nation can be taken forward only through unity and harmony, Modi pitched for “equality and affection”, saying, “There is a lot of strength in equality and affection… We have to recognise that the amount of power we have, others also have the same.”