பகிர்ந்து
 
Comments
“This is a very important time to think, where to take the nation and how to take the nation ahead, when it celebrates 100 years of Independence.”
“The people of India have taken the vaccine and they have done this not merely to protect themselves but also protect others. Such conduct, in the midst of so many global anti-vaccine movements is admirable.”
“People kept raising questions about India's progress in this time of the pandemic but India ensured 80 crore citizens get access to free ration.”
“We have to work for people irrespective of which side of the aisle we are on. The mindset that being in the Opposition means stop working towards solving people's issues is wrong.”
“Fighting COVID-19 is also linked to a strong and cordial federal structure. There have been 23 meetings with respected Chief Ministers on the issue.”
“We do not see any conflicts between national progress and regional aspirations.”

Hon'ble Chairman,

There have been elaborate discussions on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address here. I am extremely grateful to you for giving me time to participate in the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address. The Hon’ble President had presented a brief outline of the several initiatives taken during the difficult pandemic period in the country and the steps taken to empower and change the lives of the Dalits, the poor, the exploited, women as well as youth of the country. And it holds hope, faith, determination and dedication. Several honourable members have discussed it in detail. Respected Khargeji had said a lot of things, partly for the country, partly for the party and partly for himself. Anand Sharma ji, despite time constraint, has tried his best. And he said that the achievements of the country should be acknowledged. Shri Manoj Jha ji had also given some good suggestions that the speech should be beyond politics. Prasanna Acharya ji had also appreciated the Veer Baal Diwas and had talked in great details about the things related to Netaji. Dr. Fauzia Khan ji discussed in detail about the glory of the constitution. All the members have put forward their views on the basis of their experiences, respective political opinion and the political situation. I express my heartfelt gratitude to all the honourable members for the same.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Today the country is celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. During the period of 75 years of Independence, efforts have been made at various levels to give direction and momentum to the country. And by taking account of everything, we must carry forward the good things, rectify the shortcomings and take new initiatives whenever needed. And this period is important for us to decide where the country should reach when the country celebrates 100 years of independence, how to do it and with the help of which schemes we can accomplish the same. And all the political leaders like us, all the workers of the political arena should focus and also place the country's focus on how to take the country forward in the coming 25 years. I believe that there will be a collective participation of all in the resolutions that will emerge from it. There will be ownership and accountability for all. Consequently, we can give a lot to the country several times faster than that has happened in the last 75 years.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Corona is a pandemic and mankind has not seen such a huge crisis in the last 100 years. And look at the intensity of the crisis: if the mother is confined to a room due to this illness, the son is unable to enter that room. What a major crisis this has been for the entire human race! And even now this crisis is polymorphic. It returns and brings a new calamity with its new form and shape at some point or the other. And the whole country, the whole world, the whole human race is battling it. Everyone is looking for a way out. During the initial stages of the corona pandemic, the world was concerned about India with a population of 130 crore. Questions were raised like: What would happen to India? How much destruction would the world face because of India? But it was the power of resolve of 130 crore countrymen that they tried to introduce discipline in their lives. Today India's efforts are being appreciated around the world. It has nothing to do with any political party. This achievement and pride belongs to the 130 crore countrymen. It would have been better for you if you too had tried to acknowledge it; some credit would have gone to you as well. But is this a thing to be taught! Anyway, regarding vaccination, our Hon’ble Minister has explained in detail during the question hour about how India is making innovations in producing vaccines, in research and in its implementation. Even today there are huge movements against vaccines around the world. But whether one benefits from the vaccine or not, if one takes the vaccine, at least others will not be harmed - this feeling has inspired 130 crore countrymen to take the jab. This is the reflection of India's basic mindset and it is the duty of every Indian to put this ideal before the people of the world. If it was only a matter of protecting oneself, then getting vaccinated could have been debated. But when it was realised that no one should suffer because of an individual, and the individual must take the vaccine dose to protect others, people came forward to take the dose. This is the mindset of India, the reflection of India's humanity. We can proudly say this in front of the world. Today we are moving at a fast pace towards the target of 100% vaccination coverage. I would request the Hon'ble Members to applaud the great work done by our frontline workers, our healthcare workers, our scientists as appreciating them will not only help India's talent blossom but will also help in keeping their spirits high. Therefore, this House is honoured in congratulating them. We thank them.

Hon'ble Chairman,

During the corona pandemic, arrangements were made to provide free ration to more than 80 crore countrymen for such a long period so that they are able to cook every single day. With this initiative, India has set an example in front of the world. In this Corona period, despite the various challenges, constraints and obstacles, we continued to walk in the direction of our promise of providing pucca houses to lakhs of poor families. Today the crores of families who have received the houses are no longer poor. They can be termed as lakhpatis today.

Hon'ble Chairman,

During the pandemic period, a new record has been set by providing tap water to five crore rural families. During the first lockdown, even after discussing with several experts, a little courage was needed to take the decision of keeping the farmers in the villages free from the lockdown. The decision was important and difficult, yet it was taken. Consequently, our farmers produced bumper crops even in this period of Corona and record purchases were made at MSP. During this pandemic, several projects related to infrastructure were completed; because we know that the investment on infrastructure in times of such crisis ensures employment opportunities. And that's why we stressed on that too so that people keep getting employment and we could complete all the projects. We had to face challenges yet we could do it. In the same period, whether it is Jammu and Kashmir, or the North East, the development journey was carried forward and expanded. During the pandemic, the youth of our country did a commendable job in the sports arena and brought glory to the country. Today, despite the limitations due to Corona, our youth has never allowed their dedication and penance to sports diminish and made the country proud.

Hon'ble Chairman,

In this Corona era, start-ups have become an identity of the youth of our country, the youth of India. It has become 'synonymous' with our youth. Today, India ranks among the top 3 in the world of start-ups due to our youngsters.

Hon'ble Chairman,

During the pandemic, whether it is COP26, the G20 group, the work towards various issues within the society or delivering medicines to 150 countries of the world, India has always undertaken a leadership role. Today this leadership of India is being appreciated and discussed around the world.

Hon'ble Chairman,

During a period of crisis, the challenges are immense. Every power, every nation in the world is focused on in its own protection. No one is able to help anyone else. In such trying times, to get out of that crisis, words of Atal Bihari Vajpayee's poem can inspire all of us. Atal ji wrote- व्याप्त हुआ बर्बर अंधियारा, किन्तु चीर कर तम की छाती, चमका हिन्दुस्तान हमारा।शत-शत आघातों को सहकर, जीवित हिन्दुस्तान हमारा। जग के मस्तक पर रोली सा, शोभित हिन्दुस्तान हमारा।

In today's times, these words of Atal Ji reflect India's capabilities.

Hon'ble Chairman,

During the Corona pandemic, a lot of efforts have been made to move forward in all the sectors despite the obstacles. But there were some areas on which special emphasis was laid because it was necessary in the larger public interest. It was necessary for the younger generation. I would definitely like to discuss two of the special areas that I focused upon during the Corona period. Firstly, the MSME sector which is one of the largest employment generating sectors. Similarly, we also ensured that in the farming sector, there should not be any hindrance. That's why I have also mentioned about the bumper crop and the record purchases made by the government. Despite the pandemic, new records were made in terms of wheat and paddy purchases. Farmers got higher MSP for their crops and that too under the scheme of Direct Benefit Transfer. The money was directly deposited in their bank accounts. And I have seen many videos of the Punjab farmers. When for the first time the money went through Direct Benefit Transfer to Punjab, the farmers said, "Sir, the farm is of the same size, our efforts are the same, but for the first time ever, such a huge amount of money is being credited to this account”. As a result, cash was readily available to the farmers at the time of crisis. Due to such steps we were able to save such a large sector from shocks and disruptions. Similarly, the MSME sector was among those sectors that got the highest benefit of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package. Different Ministries launched the PLI scheme, which gave a boost to the manufacturing sector. India has now become the leading mobile manufacturer and its contribution to exports is also increasing. The PLI scheme is showing encouraging results in the areas of Automobile and Batteries as well. When products are manufactured at such a large scale by the MSME sector, then naturally, orders are also received from the other countries of the world and more doors of opportunities open up. In fact, the engineering goods manufactured by MSMEs have contributed a lot in increasing the export figures considerably this time. It reflects the skill of the people of India and the strength of the MSMEs of India. Look at our defence manufacturing industry, we are building defence corridors in UP and Tamil Nadu. The MoUs; the way people are joining this sector; the way people from the MSME sector are connecting with the defence sector; it is really encouraging in itself that the people of the country have this capability. And in order to make the country's defence sector self-reliant, the people from our MSME sector are showing a lot of courage by coming forward to join the sector.

Hon'ble Chairman,

The goods procured by the government through GeM Platform is one of the great facilities today for MSMEs. Similarly, we have taken a very important decision and that is, the tenders up to Rs 200 crores issued by the government will not be global. Only the people of India will get opportunity due to which our MSME sector will be benefited and through it our employment generation will get a boost.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Respected members of the House have also raised some important issues regarding employment. Some people have also given suggestions. EPFO payroll is considered to be the most reliable source of information to know the number of jobs being created. In the year 2021, about one crore and twenty lakh new people joined the EPFO payroll and we should not forget that these are all formal jobs. I am not talking about the informal ones. These are formal jobs. And among these, about 60-65 lakhs are in the age group of 18-25 years. It means that this age-group has joined their first jobs. That is, for the first time they have entered the job market.

Hon'ble Chairman,

The report suggests that the hiring has increased two-fold after the Covid restrictions were lifted compared to pre-Covid era. The same trend is discussed in the NASSCOM report as well. According to this, after 2017, directly and indirectly 27 lakh jobs were created in the IT sector; and it is not only in terms of skill, but people in the higher levels too have got employment. Due to the increase in manufacturing, India's global exports have increased and its benefits are directly reaching the field of employment generation.

Hon'ble Chairman,

The number of unicorns made in India in just one year, i.e. 2021, is more than the total unicorns made in the earlier years. And if we do not count these as employment, then it means more than employment, political debates are prioritised.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Many Honourable Members have discussed inflation. This terrible pandemic in 100 years, the coronavirus pandemic, has affected the whole world. If we talk about inflation, then America has one of the highest inflation rates in 40 years. Britain is today troubled by the worst inflation hit in 30 years. In the 19 countries of the world, with Euro as the currency, the rate of inflation is historically one of the highest. Even in such an environment, despite the pressure of the pandemic, we have made a lot of efforts to contain inflation to an extent and have tried sincerely. From 2014 to 2020, this rate hovered around 4-5%. If you compare it with the UPA era, then you will know what inflation is! During UPA, inflation was touching double digits. Today we are the only major economy experiencing high growth and medium inflation. If we look at the economy of the rest of the world, either the economic growth has slowed there or the inflation is breaking the records of decades.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Some of my colleagues in this House presented a dismal picture of India and it seemed as if it was a pleasure to present it. When I see such disappointments, then one thought comes to my mind. There can be ups and downs in public life, there can be triumphs and defeats, but the disappointments and frustrations of personal life should not be imposed on the country. We have a saying in Gujarat, Sharad Rao must as well be aware of it as it is common in Maharashtra too. Suppose there is greenery and the fields are lush green, and someone sees it; But after that, if he loses his eyes due to some accident, the last picture of the lush green fields remains with him forever. Similarly, there was a long period of suffering till 2013. In 2014, there was a bright ray of hope seen by the people of the country. Some of the people blinded by that bright light still see only the old pessimistic scenes of suffering.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Here in our scriptures it is said- महाजनो येन गतः स पन्थाः That is, the path walked by great personalities, stalwarts, becomes the path to be emulated.

Hon'ble Chairman,

I want to say one thing in this House. Whoever is present here; he/she might be from anywhere, any side, the government or the opposition. The representative of the people could be from any level, low or high, it doesn't matter. But a people's representative is the leader of the region. He/she leads. The people from his command area see him as a leader and follow his words. And it is not right to think negatively about a situation. If we are in power we are leaders, if someone sits there he is not a leader, it's not like that. Wherever you are, if you are a public representative, you are a true leader. And if the leader thinks like this, if the leader is full of despair, what will happen? Should you be concerned about the country and the people of your area only if you sit here (in the government) and not be concerned if you sit there (in the opposition). Is that so?

At least learn from Sharad Rao ji. I have seen that Sharad Rao ji continues to inspire the people of the region even at this age, despite several illnesses. We don't need to be disappointed, brother. Whatever happens, we all must share the responsibility. Kharge ji, you too are making a mistake like Adhir Ranjan ji. Look behind you. Jairam ji has prepared two-three people for this work. Kindly uphold your dignity. All arrangements have been made. Jairam ji had gone out. He has come back with the information. He was explaining. It is just about to start in a while. But you are a respectable leader.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Irrespective of the party in power, the capability of the country should not be underestimated. We should proudly display the strength of the country in front of the whole world with an open mind. It is very imperative for the country.

Hon'ble Chairman,

One of our colleagues in the House said, 'Vaccination is not a big deal.' I am surprised to see that some people are not realising how great this achievement of India is! A colleague even said that money is being wasted on vaccination. If this country hears such a thing, how will it feel about such people?

Hon'ble Chairman,

Ever since Corona has plagued mankind, the government has made every effort to mobilise every available resource in the country and around the world. To protect the citizens of our country, we have taken every possible step, by putting together our abilities, understanding, power and resources. And as long as the pandemic prevails, the government is committed to spend as much as it can to save the lives of the poorest of the poor. But the immaturity of some party leaders in the last two years has left the country very disappointed. We have seen how games have been played for political gains. A campaign has been launched against the Indian vaccine. Try to think about what you had said earlier and whatever is happening today. Try to match the things. There could be a possibility of improvement. Something useful might come up.

Hon'ble Chairman,

The people of the country are very aware. And I congratulate the people of the country for not listening to these negative narratives of their leaders and getting vaccinated despite such mistakes made by their leaders at the time of crisis. Had it not happened, there would have been a great danger. But it is good that the people of the country have gone ahead of some leaders. It is good for the country.

Hon'ble Chairman,

In a way, this entire Corona period has portrayed a good example of our Federal Structure. Perhaps there wouldn't be any Prime Minister who had got the opportunity to hold meetings 23 times with the Chief Ministers in one single tenure. 23 meetings were held with the Chief Ministers and detailed discussions were held. We used the suggestions from the Chief Ministers and combined it with the information that the Government of India had. Senior leaders from different states are sitting here in this House. Therefore, I would say, this is indeed a very big deal - Holding 23 meetings during this period and framing strategies after discussing in great detail and taking everyone on board. Whether it is the Central Government, the State Government or the local governments, everyone has worked together, putting equal efforts. We do not underestimate anyone's contribution. We consider it to be the strength of the country.

But Hon'ble Chairman,

Some people need to introspect. When the all-party meeting regarding the corona pandemic was called and the government had to give a detailed presentation, attempts were made to try and stop some parties from attending the meeting. And those who made these attempts, themselves did not show up. They boycotted the all-party meeting. And I would like to express my gratitude to Sharad Rao ji. Sharad Rao ji had said that it was not a decision of UPA, and that he would try to convince some people to attend. Sharad Rao ji had attended the meeting, all the other parties including TMC too had attended the meeting and also gave their valuable suggestions. This crisis was upon the country; it was upon mankind. Even under such conditions you boycotted the meeting? I don't know from where you take advice, but they are harming you too. The country has not stopped; the country has started moving. But you are stuck here. Everyone was surprised! Did you read the next day's newspaper? Have you seen the criticism? Why did you do this? Anyway...

Hon'ble Chairman,

We focused on Holistic Health Care. The Ministry of AYUSH also did a lot of work on both the modern medical system and the traditional Indian system of medicine. Sometimes activities of such ministries are not even discussed in the House. But today the people from Andhra, Telangana will tell you that the export of our turmeric is increasing around the world. With the corona pandemic, people around the world are attracted to the treatment methods of India. Today in the Corona period, India has also strengthened its pharma industry. In the last seven years, the production and exports of our AYUSH has seen phenomenal growth and are reaching new destinations. This means that the traditional medicine of India has started making a mark in the world. I want all of us to emphasise this whenever we can because this area is somewhat suppressed. This is a time when it will be easily accepted if we can do the needful. Then probably the traditional medicine of India and its power will reach the world and show its wonders.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Today more than 80 thousand health and wellness centres are functioning under Ayushman Bharat and they are being equipped to provide all kinds of modern services. These centres are providing better primary healthcare facilities including free tests in the villages and near homes. These centres are helping in early detection of cancer, diabetes and other serious diseases. 80 thousand centres have been built and we are working at a fast pace to increase it further. That is, help can also be assured at the local level even in cases of serious diseases.

Hon'ble Chairman,

There was an old practice of imposing some taxes before the budget so that there is no discussion about it in the budget; so that it's not visible in the budget and the stock market does not fall on that day. We didn't do that. Instead, we did the opposite. Before the budget, we distributed Rs 64 thousand crores among the states for the creation of Critical Health Infrastructure under PM Atmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana. If we had kept this thing in the budget, the already great budget would have looked even bigger and more impressive. But instead of trying to use it as an illusion, we implemented it before to make immediate arrangements at the time of Corona, and we allotted 64 thousand crore rupees forthwith for this work.

Hon'ble Chairman,

This time Kharge ji was delivering a very special speech and was telling me that I should comment on it instead of beating about the bush but let us once cross check what he had said. It was said in the House that Congress had laid the foundation of India but BJP had just hoisted their flag on that.

Hon'ble Chairman,

This was not said in the House in a lighter vein. This was the result of that dangerous mindset and the same is perilous for the country. And that is, some people believe that India was born in 1947. Now that's what causes this problem. And the result of this thinking is that the policies of those who had got the opportunity to work for 50 years out of the 75 years in India have also been affected by this mindset and due to that many maladies have arisen.

This democracy is not at your mercy and you, those who had strangled democracy in 1975, should not speak on the glory of democracy.

Hon'ble Chairman,

The people with such dwarf thinking should have said one thing in front of the world with gusto, but hesitated to say it. We should have said with pride that India, Mother India, is the Mother of Democracy. India is known for its Democracy and debating power for years. And the problem of Congress is that they never thought of anything beyond 'Dynasty'. And in the party, those who talk about democracy, they don't understand that the biggest threat to India's democracy is from Dynastic politics. It has to be accepted. And in the party too, when a family is paramount, then talent becomes the first casualty. The country has suffered a lot due to this mindset for a long time. I want all the political parties to inculcate democratic ideals and values in their parties. And as the oldest party of India, Congress should take all the more responsibility for it.

Hon'ble Chairman,

It was said here - what would have happened if Congress had not been there? 'India is Indira, Indira is India' is the result of this thinking.

Hon'ble Chairman,

I just want to repeat what was said in the House – "I am wondering what would have happened if Congress had not been there". Let me tell you, Mahatma Gandhi knew that with Congress at the helm, what was going to happen. And he had warned beforehand, asking them to end it. If everything had happened according to Mahatma Gandhi's wishes, if there was no Congress as per Mahatma Gandhi's desire – democracy would have been free from family politics, India would have followed the path of indigenous resolutions instead of donning foreign spectacles. Had there been no Congress, there would have been no slur of Emergency. If there was no Congress, corruption would not have been institutionalised for decades. Had the Congress not been there, the roots of casteism and regionalism would not have gone so deep. Had the Congress not been there, there would not have been a massacre of Sikhs, Punjab would not have burned in the fire of terror for years. Had the Congress not been there, the Pandits of Kashmir would not have had to leave Kashmir. If there was no Congress, there would not have been incidents of daughters being burnt in tandoor. If there was no Congress, then the common man of the country would not have to wait for so many years for houses, roads, electricity, water, toilets and basic amenities.

Hon'ble Chairman,

I can go on.

Hon'ble Chairman,

When Congress was in power, it did not allow the development of the country; now it is in opposition, it is again hindering the development of the country. Now the Congress has an objection to 'Nation' as well. If the concept of 'Nation' is unconstitutional then why was your party named 'Indian National Congress'? Then change the name of 'Indian National Congress' to Federation of Congress. Just rectify the mistake of your predecessors.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Here, several colleagues from parties like Congress, TMC and Left had given long lectures about federalism. It is necessary as well because it is the House of senior leaders from various states. But to all my friends....

Hon'ble Chairman,

Thank you Hon'ble Chairman. Democracy is not only about preaching. Listening is also a part of democracy. But for years they have developed a habit of preaching, so it becomes difficult to hear a few things.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Many colleagues including Congress, TMC, and Left have presented many ideas regarding federalism here. And it is quite natural to discuss it in this House because this is the House of senior leaders from different states and we keep getting their guidance in this House. However, if we are discussing the topic of federalism, irrespective of our views on the topic, I would urge everyone today to read Babasaheb Ambedkar and recall the words of Babasaheb Ambedkar. In the Constituent Assembly, Babasaheb Ambedkar had said, and I am quoting him:

"This federation is a union because it is integrated. For administrative convenience, the country and the people may be divided into different states. It may be divided into different states for administrative purposes, but the nation is integrally one."

He has clarified the concept of administrative systems and 'Nation'. And this is what Babasaheb Ambedkar had said in the Constituent Assembly. I believe, nothing apart from Babasaheb Ambedkar's guidance through these deep explanations is needed to understand federalism. But what has happened in our country? So many great speeches are delivered on federalism. There are several lectures. Have we forgotten the days when Chief Ministers were removed for petty things at the airport? What happened to T. Anjaiah, the former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh? This incident is well known to many in this House. When the Prime Minister's son did not like the arrangements made at the airport, the CM was sacked. It had hurt the sentiments of crores of people of Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, the popular Chief Minister of Karnataka, Virendra Patil ji was also removed from the post in a humiliating way at a time when he was ill. Our thinking is not as narrow as that of Congress. We are not narrow minded people. We do not see any conflict between national goals and regional aspirations. We believe that regional aspirations should be addressed with equal respect, these problems should be solved by giving equal importance. And India's progress will happen when the country addresses regional aspirations keeping in mind the development. This is our obligation when we say that the country has to move forward, it also has a condition that if the states progress, only then the country can progress. If the states are not progressing, we cannot think about the country's progress. Therefore, the first condition is: the state should progress, only then the country can progress. And when the country progresses, the country prospers, this prosperity percolates down to the states. Therefore, the country becomes prosperous. We move ahead with this thinking. And I know, I was in Gujarat. History is a witness to the injustice done to me by the government in Delhi (centre). What was done to me? What was done to Gujarat? But despite all odds, even in that period if you see my records, every day as the Chief Minister, I always used to say one thing. The mantra of Gujarat was: "Development of Gujarat for the development of the country". Our work didn't depend on which party was at the centre. Instead "development of Gujarat for the development of the country" was our mantra. It is the responsibility of all of us in federalism that we develop our states for the development of the country so that together we can take the country to new heights. This is the right way. It is necessary for us to follow that path. And it is very unfortunate, how those who got the opportunity to run the government for decades had oppressed the states. Everyone is present here; those who suffered are present here. How were they repressed? At least a hundred times, the elected state governments were overthrown by imposing President's rule. Do you have any locus standi to talk about that? And that's why you didn't even respect democracy. And who was that Prime Minister who had overthrown 50 state governments during their tenure?

Hon'ble Chairman,

Every Indian knows the answers to all these questions and today they are suffering due to it.

Hon'ble Chairman,

The policy of Congress high command works in 3 ways. First Discredit, then Destabilise and then Dismiss. In this way create distrust, destabilise, and then dismiss it. That is how they have worked.

Hon'ble Chairman,

I want to raise a few questions today. Who had destabilised Farooq Abdullah's government? Who had overthrown the government of Chaudhary Devi Lal ji? Who had dismissed the government of Chaudhary Charan Singh ji? Who had dismissed Sardar Badal Singh's government in Punjab? Who had used dirty tricks to defame Balasaheb Thackeray in Maharashtra? Who had overthrown the governments of Ramakrishna Hegde and S.R Bommai in Karnataka? Who had brought down the elected communist government of Kerala in the 50s? Who had dismissed the government of Karunanidhi ji during the Emergency in Tamil Nadu? Who had dismissed MGR's government in 1980? Who had tried to destabilise the government of NTR in Andhra Pradesh and that too when he was ill? Which party had harassed Mulayam Singh Yadav ji just because Mulayam Singh ji did not agree with the Centre. Congress has not spared even its own leaders. The Congress government in Andhra Pradesh had played an important role. What did they do to them? They divided Andhra Pradesh in a very shameful manner. The mikes were turned off. Pepper spray was sprinkled. No discussion took place. Was this the right way? Was this a democracy? Atal ji's government had also created three states. We have never opposed the creation of a state. But what was the way? Atal ji had created three states. Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand; but there was no fight over it. Everything was discussed and debated peacefully. Everyone sat down and discussed it. The same could have been done for Andhra and Telangana. We are not anti-Telangana. It could have been worked out together. But your arrogance, intoxication of power had created this animosity within the country. And even today, those seeds of bitterness between Telangana and Andhra are harming Telangana and Andhra. And you are not getting any political advantage. And you are trying to lecture us.

Hon'ble Chairman,

We are moving towards a new change along with cooperative federalism. And we have spoken of cooperative competitive federalism. There should be a healthy competition for development among our states. Let us try to move forward. It doesn't matter which party is ruling which state. It is our job to encourage them and we are doing that.

Hon'ble Chairman, I want to give an example today. The composition of the GST Council itself is an example of a good structure for strong federalism in India. Important decisions of revenue are taken in the GST council. And the finance ministers of the states and the Finance Minister of India sit together around the same table and discuss. All are equal. No one is ahead, no one behind. Everyone works together. And the country should be proud; this House should be proud of the fact that all the decisions of GST have been taken with consensus. The finance ministers of all the states and the Finance Minister of India have done it together. What could be a better form of federalism than this? Who wouldn't be proud of it? But we don't take pride in that either.

Hon'ble Chairman,

I want to give one more example of Federalism. We know that social justice is very essential in the country. Otherwise the country is unable to progress. Similarly, regional justice is equally important. If any area is left behind in terms of development, the country cannot move forward. So we have framed a plan called the 'Aspirational Districts'. 100 districts were selected in the country on the basis of different parameters. These districts were selected in consultation with the states. We thought that those 100+ districts should at least come up to the level of the average districts of those states. In this manner, the burden will be a little less. And we did that work. Today I can say with great delight and pride that even though the idea of the scheme was formulated by the Government of India but all the states except one owned it. The central government, state governments and district units are working together today to change the situation of over a hundred districts. And there are states with governments of different parties in it. It is not that every state government belongs to the Bharatiya Janata Party. And all of them together have produced such excellent results that in a very short span of time, the Aspirational Districts have even surpassed the average of their state in a lot of parameters. And I believe this is one of the best tasks. And let me tell you that in some aspirational districts four times more Jan Dhan accounts have been opened than before. All the states have done a commendable job in these aspirational districts in terms of providing toilets and electricity to every family. I believe this is the best example of federal structure. And an example of how to best use the federal structure for the progress of the country.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Today, I want to share another example of how financial help is given to the states and the kind of changes that occur by reforming policies. There was a time when our natural resources were used only to fill the vaults of a few people. We have seen this plight. It was in the news. Right now the resources are filling the treasury of the nation. In 2000, we made reforms in the coal and mining sectors. We auctioned mineral resources using a transparent process. We continued the process of reforms, like the transfer of a valid licence without charge, sale of 50% of production in the open market, 50% rebate on early operationalisation. In the last one year, the mining revenue has increased from about Rs 14 thousand crores to about Rs 35 thousand crores. The state governments have received the revenue that came from the auction. The most important thing is that the reforms that have been brought have benefited the states. And anything that is beneficial for the state is definitely beneficial for the country. Such an important decision of cooperative federalism was taken and Odisha has been one of the first states to implement these reforms. I congratulate the Chief Minister of Odisha for implementing all the reforms and for working shoulder to shoulder.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Here some had accused us of trying to change history. They have said it a million times outside also. And some people have also written the same. I see that the Congress is in a way trapped in the clutches of Urban Naxals. Their entire way of thinking has been captured by the Urban Naxals. And so their mindset has become destructive. And it is a matter of concern for the country. We need to think seriously. Urban Naxals have very cleverly taken advantage of this plight of Congress and have completely captured its mind. They have been brainwashed. And because of that they are repeatedly saying that history is being changed.

Respected Chairman,

We just want to fix the memory of a few people. We want to refresh their memories slightly. We are not changing any history. For some people, history begins only a few years back. We are just taking them a few more years back, nothing else. If they enjoy 50 years of history, we are showing them 100 years of history. If they are concerned with only 100 years, we are showing them the 200 year old history. If they know only 200 years, we are telling them about 300-year old history. Now if we talk of 300-350 years back, Chhatrapati Shivaji has to be mentioned. We are trying to sharpen their memory. We are not changing history. The history for some people is limited to just one family but the history is vast. There are several important aspects. There are ups and downs. And we are trying to recall a long period of history because forgetting the glorious history is not good for the future of this country. We consider this our responsibility. Learning lessons from this history, we must inculcate a belief to take the country to new heights in the coming 25 years. And I believe that this period of Amrit Kaal is now going to grow due to the same. In this period, our daughters, our youth, our farmers, our villages, our dalits, our adivasis, every section of the society should participate and contribute. We must move ahead with that thought. If we look at the freedom struggle of 1857, the contribution made in the freedom struggle of 1857 in our tribal areas, we hardly get to read about that. How could we forget these golden pages of history? We are just trying to remind you of these things. We are trying to ensure that the country is brimming with self-confidence and striding ahead.

Hon'ble Chairman,

Empowerment of women is also a priority for us. In a country like India, everyone's efforts count in the development journey. Our mothers and sisters are the greatest participants in that effort. They form 50 per cent of the country's population. Therefore, we bring reforms in the society of India. This is a vibrant society. In every era, some great personalities emerge who try to free the society from evils. And today we know that the idea of women empowerment is not new in India. We are just giving priority to their empowerment. For example, increasing maternity leave is our way and effort to empower women and their families. And we are working in that direction. Today, with Beti Bachao - Beti Padhao, we have managed to improve the gender ratio by reducing the imbalance that we had in the gender ratio. And according to some reports, today in some places, the number of females is more than that of males. This is a matter of great joy and pride. We have managed to come out of the dismal days. And so we should keep trying. Today our daughters are joining the N.C.C. We have our daughters in the army, we have our daughters in the air force. We have our daughters in the navy. We ended the cruel practice of triple talaq. Wherever I go, I am showered with the blessings of my mothers and sisters because the end of triple talaq has brought justice not only for the daughters but also for the father and the brother whose daughter/sister returns home due to triple talaq. So, it is for the welfare of the entire society. It is not that the step was pro women and against the men. It is equally useful for a Muslim man because he too is the father of a daughter; he is the brother of a sister. So, the step has been beneficial for him too. It gives him protection too. Even if they were not able to express it for whatever reason, this step has brought joy and pride to everyone. The abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir has empowered the mothers and sisters there. We have given them the rights which they did not have. And because of those rights, their power has increased today. Why was the marriage age in today's era different for males and females? If our sons and daughters are equal, that equality should reflect everywhere. Hence, we have moved forward in that direction so that the age of marriage for our sons and daughters becomes same. I am sure that in no time this House will also work for the welfare of our mothers and sisters by taking the right decision about it.

Hon'ble Chairman,

This year is very important for Goa. This year marks 60th Goa Liberation. I just want to say something today. Wherever our Congress friends are, they must be listening. The people of Goa must be listening. The way Sardar Patel had strategized for Hyderabad and Junagadh; The way Sardar Sahib had taken initiatives, if the same was done for Goa seeking inspiration from him, Goa would not have had to live in slavery for 15 years after India became independent. Goa became independent after 15 years of India's independence. The 60 years old newspapers and the media reports of that era will tell you that the then Prime Minister, Pandit Nehru's biggest concern was - 'What will happen to the international image of the Prime Minister'? "What if my image in the world gets tarnished?" And that's why he felt that by attacking the colonial government of Goa, his image of a global leader as a peace-loving leader would be shattered. So, he thought - Let's leave Goa to fend for itself. Let Goa suffer. No harm should be done to my image. When there was a firing on Satyagrahis, when the colonial rulers were firing bullets on my brothers and sisters of Hindustan, the Prime Minister of our country was saying that he would not send the army. He refused to help the Satyagrahis. Such injustice was done to Goa by Congress. And Goa was kept in the shackles of slavery for more than 15 years. And many brave sons of Goa had to sacrifice their lives. They succumbed to the sticks and bullets. Such circumstances had emerged. Nehru ji, on August 15, 1955, had said something at the Red Fort. I just want to quote. I wish my friends from Congress were here. They would have felt happy on hearing the name of Nehru ji. And that's why I frequently mention Nehru ji to quench their thirst. Let me quote Nehru ji. Watch the language.

He had said at the Red Fort, "Let no one be under the illusion that we will take military action there. No army is around Goa. The people inside want someone to create such a situation so that we are compelled to send the army. We will not send the army, we will take action peacefully. Everyone should understand this". These are the statements of the Congress leader against the aspirations of the Goans on 15th August. Pandit Nehru had further made some statements as people were doing Satyagraha there. Even Lohia ji was on Satyagraha there. The Satyagrahis of the country were visiting Goa. Satyagraha was taking place under the leadership of Jagannath Raj Joshi from Karnataka. But what did Pandit Nehru say? "Whoever wants to go can happily go there." Look at the mockery. What kind of an arrogant language was being used for my own countrymen who were fighting for freedom? But look at his words. “One must remember that if someone calls oneself a Satyagrahi, then he must also remember the principles, and paths of Satyagraha. There should not be any support from the army for the Satyagrahis." The citizens of my own country were rendered helpless. The people of Goa cannot forget this attitude of Congress.

Hon'ble Chairman,

We were also given long lectures here on freedom of expression every day. I just want to narrate an incident today. And this incident is about a son of Goa. I want to give an example of how the freedom of expression was taken away. Today I am opening the history of people who talk about freedom of expression of the individual. The whole country is saddened by the demise of Lata Mangeshkar ji. Lata Mangeshkar ji's family is from Goa. But how was her family treated? The country should know this too. Lata Mangeshkar's younger brother, Pandit Hridaynath Mangeshkar, a respected child of Goa, a son from the land of Goa, was fired from All India Radio. He used to work in All India Radio. And what was his crime? His crime was that he had presented a patriotic poem by Veer Savarkar on All India Radio. Hridaynath ji had said in an interview, his interview is available. He had said in the interview, when he had met Savarkar ji once and had expressed his desire to perform his song, Savarkar ji had replied to him - "Do you want to go to jail? Do you want to go to jail after presenting my poem?" Later, Hridaynath ji had composed a song on the basis of his patriotic poem. Within eight days he was fired from All India Radio. Is this your freedom of expression? You have placed these lies of freedom of speech in front of the country. Such atrocities were inflicted not only on the son of Goa, Hridaynath Mangeshkar ji but also upon several others throughout the congress regime. The list is quite long. Majrooh Sultanpuri was jailed for a year for criticising Pandit Nehru. Professor Dharampal ji was imprisoned for criticising Nehru ji's attitude. Famous musician Kishore Kumar ji was fired during the Emergency for not speaking in favour of the Emergency and for not bowing down to Indira ji. We all know what happens if anyone raises even the slightest voice against a particular family or raises an eyebrow at them. We know Sitaram Kesri very well. We all know what had happened to him.

Hon'ble Chairman,

I request all the members of the House. Have faith in India's bright future. Let us trust the power of 130 crore countrymen. Let us be determined to take the country to new heights on the basis of this capability by setting big goals.

Hon'ble Chairman,

We have to put an end to this tradition of 'mine-yours'. And this is the need of the hour for the country to move towards one goal with one vote and one sentiment. It is a golden age; the whole world looks up to India with great hope and pride. Don't miss the opportunity like this. There is no greater opportunity than this for the welfare of the countrymen. Let's grab this opportunity as the 25 years of journey can take us to greater heights. We should be proud of our traditions for our country and we will walk together with great confidence. And it has been said in the scriptures. सम गच्छध्वं सम वदध्वम् सं वो मनांसि जानताम्। That is, let us move together, discuss together and do everything together. With that, I approve the President's address. I thank him from the bottom of my heart. And I also thank all the respected members for their co-operation and views. Thanks a lot!

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PM calls on President
November 26, 2022
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The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has called on the President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu.

Prime Minister's office tweeted;

"PM @narendramodi called on Rashtrapati Droupadi Murmu Ji earlier today."