Mallikarjun Kharge accuses Narendra Modi of delivering ‘poll speech’ in Parliament; criticises Adhir Ranjan’s suspension


NEW DELHI: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using the debate on the no-confidence motion as an ”election rally” and said had he shed his arrogance by speaking on Manipur earlier, the valuable time of Parliament could have been saved.

He also condemned the suspension of Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Rajan Chowdhury and termed it ”undemocratic” and ”unfortunate” and that it ”reflects the arrogance of power and the maliciousness of authorities”.

”This tradition will prove very fatal for both the constitution and parliamentary democracy. We strongly condemn this,” Kharge said in a post on ‘X’, a micro-blogging site previously known as Twitter. ”Thank you Prime Minister, At last you spoke in the House on the Manipur violence. We are sure that the pace of restoration of peace in Manipur will be faster, people from relief camps will return to their homes. They will be rehabilitated and justice will be done to them.

”Had you given up your stubbornness and arrogance earlier, the valuable time of the Parliament could have been saved. Important bills would have been passed with good discussion,” the Congress chief said.

”We are pained that on an unprecedented issue like the Manipur violence, the opposition had to use a parliamentary weapon like a no-confidence motion. But you also used the House as an election rally,” he also said.

In the last phase, the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary was suspended, Kharge said, adding that ”this is very undemocratic and unfortunate”. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the prime minister’s ”election speech” continued for more than 70 minutes in Parliament. ”Kept abusing INDIA. Adopting a defiant attitude, he refused to speak on the reasons behind the no-confidence motion, particularly on Manipur,” he said.

Modi deliberately twisted, deflected issues: Ramesh

Ramesh on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ”deliberately twisting” and deflecting issues of the alleged ”misuse” of LIC and public sector banks to help his ”cronies”. In a swipe at the opposition during his reply to a debate on the no-confidence motion, Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day said his rivals have a ”secret boon” that whosoever they wish bad for, ends up doing well as it happened with PSUs such as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and Life Insurance Corporation of India.

Responding to the jibe, Ramesh said on X, formerly known as Twitter, ”The Prime Minister deflected and deliberately twisted the issue of misuse of LIC and Public Sector Banks(PSBs) during the No Confidence Motion today,” ”Three questions that Mr. Modi will not have the courage to answer: Did you play any role in forcing LIC to invest Rs 30,000 crore in the Adani Group when even normally aggressive private fund managers steered clear of doing so? Is it not your duty to protect LIC’s 30 crore policyholders by ensuring that public sector financial institutions invest responsibly and not to enrich your friend,” he asked.

Ramesh, a former union minister, claimed that public sector banks, especially SBI, accounted for three quarters of Indian banks’ debt to the Adani Group which he said was another example of the public sector bank taking more risk than its private counterparts to ”help your cronies”. A report clearly suggested that the public sector loans were riskier and made against the Adani Group’s weaker assets, Ramesh said.

”What role did you have in encouraging such irresponsible risk taking by PSBs,” he asked the PM.

”We have all witnessed the highly ‘productive’ lunch meeting with Gautam Adani and SBI chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya in Australia some years ago. Did you pressure SBI to lend Adani USD 1 billion for its controversial Carmichael project that other lenders were avoiding? You often speak of so-called ‘phone banking’. Isn’t this ‘lunch banking’,” said the Congress leader, who is also the party’s chief whip in Rajya Sabha.

Criticising what he called was ”ostrich-approach” of the opposition, the prime minister said they are not able to see the trust of people as they are so steeped in distrust.

Prime Minister Modi recalled the attitude of the opposition towards the developments in the banking sector and said they tried their best to spread misinformation and confuse the people.

However, the net profit of the public sector banks increased two-fold, Modi said.

He also touched upon the phone banking scam which pushed the country towards an NPA crisis and said that the country has revived itself from this and is now moving forward.

Source: Press Trust of India

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