BJP chief Amit Shah delivered his first address in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
In his usual combative tone, he first highlighted the party’s achievements and then took the opportunity to slam Opposition’s recent criticism of BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks.
Here are the highlights of his speech:
Defending PM Modi’s remark on selling pakodas
Modi, in an interview with Zee News, had said: “If someone opens a pakoda shop in front of your office, does that not count at employment? The person’s daily earning of Rs 200 will never come into any books or accounts. The truth is massive people are being employed.”
On this comment, the Opposition reacted by saying that if selling pakodas is a job, then begging should be a job too
Shah defended Modi on the jibes made by Congress. “I believe it is better to work hard by selling pakodas than remaion unemployed.”
Defending India’s employment status in Modi’s regime
Shah pointed that the employment scenario in India has become better only after 55 years. He said that this was the first time in 55 years that a non-Congress party member was given the mandate by the public to rule since the employment is at least better than what it used to be.
He said, “I am not denying the unemployment. But this is after you ruled the country for 55 years. Why couldn’t Congress find the solution to this?”
Batting for Modi’s Swachh Bharat Mission
Modi’s landmark scheme Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan aims to not only clean India but also to make sure there easy accessibility to toilets in the country. On this, the party and Modi have been criticised by the opposition often. Taking a dig at the opposition, Shah said, “Those living in Lutyens Zone will not understand the importance of toilets in every house.”
On the newly announced National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced a massive-funding health scheme in his Budget speech. The scheme will fund Rs 5 lakh to close to 50 crore people who require hospital care. On this, Shah said that the ruling party is considering to name the scheme as ‘Namo healthcare’ now and commented saying that he is aware that the initiative of naming the scheme according to what has been decided will lead to ‘some people making noise.’
On Goods and Services Tax (GST)
Taking a dig at BJP, the Congress termed GST as ‘Gabbar Singh Tax.’ Shah said that it is because of Modi that GST became a reality because it had been undergoing long debates for years now. He later questioned the Opposition’s mentality and explained Gabbar Singh’s character from the movie moneycontrol