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World News

In Parliament, PM Narendra Modi uses wit to tear into Opposition



Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at his wittiest best in the Parliament on Wednesday as he tore into the Opposition with his humour- laced diatribes at the opposition raising slogans against his government.

PM Modi was participating in the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s Address. While Modi took on the Opposition, and especially the Congress, head-on in a nearly 90-minute speech, the Opposition — led by the Congress, Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress — shouted slogans against Modi and his government.

But the opposition slogans couldn’t stop the orator PM from taking aim at the opposition leaders, including the Gandhi family — Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, as Modi slammed the latter and their UPA government for non-performing assets in banks.

The Prime Minister said his government was wrongly criticised for the sins of the Congress which even hid the exact value of these stressed assets. He claimed if he had revealed the staggering figure of the Non Performing Assets (NPAs) earlier, it would have deeply hurt the economy but now he was doing so with evidence as banks were getting back into good health.

Modi said: The Congress gave wrong figures as NPAs were 82 per cent and not 36 per cent. Modi said that the total advance made by banks rose from Rs 18 lakh crore to Rs 52 lakh crore. People should now know the truth…. It is the interest on what you squandered away. These are your sins, Modi said targeting the Congress, and alleged that loans were given away to the people who were close to those in power. After the NDA took over, not a single loan was passed which could turn into an NPA, Modi claimed.

The workings of our previous government are responsible for the NPA mess. They are 100 per cent responsible and nobody else, the prime minister said. Modi said his government has taken a series of steps like recapitalisation of banks to revive the sector, and his government’s cleanliness drive, an apparent reference to measures against corruption and blackmoney, was to secure rights of the common man.

He contended that the banking policies of the previous governments were not proper and while the middlemen were happy, the country was suffering. Earlier calls used to be made for facilitating loans to their people (close to those in power). Crores of money was given (through loans)…. Had I kept the facts before the nation earlier, it would have hurt the economy, the prime minister said. Lashing out at the Opposition, he said they were spreading falsehood on the NPAs, he said.

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