Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday created a record of delivering the longest address ever by a prime minister during a no-confidence motion in Lok Sabha. Modi’s speech spanned an impressive 2 hours, 13 minutes and 1 second, surpassing the previous benchmark set by then PM Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1965, who spoke for 2 hours and 12 minutes during a similar motion.
Prime Minister Modi embarked on a comprehensive dissection of the opposition, with a particular focus on what he referred to as the ‘one family.’ In a remarkable demonstration of his rhetorical prowess, he described the opposition’s no-confidence motion as a ‘God’s blessing,’ suggesting that individuals targeted by the Congress and the opposition have historically thrived.
He emphasised that his two decades of opposition from the Congress was a testament to this phenomenon. The Prime Minister’s pointed speech compelled the opposition to walk out of the House in the 97th minute, accusing him of evading discussions on Manipur.
However, Modi promptly addressed the concerns, acknowledging the ongoing efforts to restore peace in the violence-stricken state. Furthermore, he underscored his commitment to the welfare of Manipur, condemning crimes against women and assuring the nation that both the Central and State governments were working together to ensure justice.
He emphasised that many of these challenges stemmed from the actions of previous Congress governments, which had resulted in a tumultuous environment. The PM also highlighted the developmental progress initiated by his government in the state, emphasising their sincere intentions to resolve long-standing problems.
Modi alluded to various historical instances where the Congress party’s decisions had negative consequences. He cited instances such as the 1966 bombing of Mizoram and the 1984 attack on the Akal Takht.
Prime Minister Modi also questioned the absence of Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the leader of the Congress, from the list of speakers during the no-confidence debate. He hinted at a possible influence from West Bengal, alluding to Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of the state. This comment lent support to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s stance that the INDIA alliance is a strategic collaboration by the Trinamool Congress.
Modi highlighted past instances where leaders like Sharad Pawar and Sonia Gandhi had led similar motions, underscoring the unusual absence of Adhir Chowdhury. He further detailed how Speaker Om Birla had extended an opportunity for Chowdhury to speak, only for it to be squandered.
The PM also commented on the opposition’s tendency to resort to derogatory language, reflecting their critical stance against him. He labeled the alliance behind the no-confidence motion as “arrogant, dynastic and corrupt.”
Despite this characterisation, he humorously invited the opposition to try again in 2028, reminiscent of his past success following a no-confidence motion in 2018. The PM expressed his unwavering assurance that India would continue to rise, positioning itself as the third-largest economy globally, under his leadership.
Image Credit: Sansad TV