The end of the Monsoon Session does not mean the end of hostilities between the BJP and the Congress, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fiery speech to NDA MPs at the end of the session making battle lines very clear.
Mr. Modi announced the launch of a campaign in which NDA MPs would visit the constituencies of the Congress and Left MPs to “expose” what they had done and said during the session. “The Congress wants to save the family, while the BJP wants to save the country, as is our principle,” he said.
In a 25-minute speech, he said, “We accept this undemocratic challenge by the Congress and will take it to the people. Our people will go to every nook and corner to expose the Congress, which is trying to stop the growth of the country.”
The political line in the Prime Minister’s address was very clear, just as it was in the way Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi attacked him in his speeches, and Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s sudden aggression in this session. “It is, quite simply, Narendra Modi vs. the Gandhis,” said a senior BJP leader.
The set piece of this strategy includes targeting the Gandhi family’s privileged position at the head of India’s oldest political party.
Mr. Modi drew a parallel between the current situation and the Emergency. “As a political worker during Emergency, we often discussed how it was an attempt at concentrating power in the hands of one family. This is akin to that,” he told NDA MPs.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said Mr. Modi explained his Emergency remark thus: “The attitude of the Congress in Parliament confirms that they are completely desperate when they are out of power. They want to promote family rule, family dictatorship, and we are there to protect democracy.”
Mr. Modi told NDA MPs that the Congress’s hatred for the BJP was evident. “My government is trying to foster cooperative federalism and the Congress is trying to negate that by getting Congress Chief Ministers to boycott NITI Aayog meetings,” he is reported to have said.
Minister for Food Processing Harsimrat Badalmoved a resolution condemning the “negative” attitude of the Congress and its “forcible and deliberate disruption of Parliament” and this was unanimously passed by the nearly 300 NDA MPs at the meeting.