‘India first’ is govt.’s religion: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi breaks his silence in Parliament to denounce communalism and call for unity.

Updated - November 28, 2021 12:04 pm IST

Published - February 27, 2015 04:43 pm IST - New Delhi

File picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

File picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Combative and conciliatory by turns, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday underlined that he would brook no derailment of his “development agenda’’, either by those making divisive statements to vitiate the atmosphere or by political detractors, opposed to amending the land acquisition law.

Assuming the responsibility for controlling “ridiculous (anaap-shanaap)” comments being made in the name of religion, the Prime Minister said: “My government’s only religion is ‘India first’; my government’s only religious book is the Indian Constitution; our only devotion is ‘Bharat Bhakti’, and our only prayer is for the welfare for all.’’

Reiterating his ‘Sabka saath, Sabka vikas’ slogan, the Prime Minister sought the Opposition's help in ensuring development for all as he ended his 70 minute reply to the discussion on the motion of thanks to the President’s Address in the Lok Sabha.

While he sought the Opposition support in removing flaws in the land acquisition law, the Prime Minister assumed a combative tone to warn that no one with black money would be spared and described the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) as a “monument to the failures” of successive Congress governments.

That the Prime Minister was determined to amend the land acquisition law was clear from his fervent appeal to the Opposition for help in this enterprise. He added for good measure that he would publicly credit the Congress for this legislation. “This will remain your law,” Mr Modi said.

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