Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked the Opposition, claiming that it no longer has a connect with the grassroots in India. The prime minister was responding to President Ram Nath Kovind’s address in Parliament.

“In their [Congress MPs] speeches, if they had even once mentioned Manmohan Singh, I would have had faith,” Modi said, according to The Indian Express. “Our dream is to stay rooted in reality. Opposition is no longer connected to roots. The Opposition is riding a high horse.”

Modi said that he is the only prime minister who admitted that all governments have contributed to India’s progress. The prime minister, speaking in the Lok Sabha, dared the Congress to mention the number of times [former Prime Ministers] Vajpayee or Narasimha Rao were praised during the rule of the United Progressive Alliance government, The Hindu reported. Modi said the Congress does not recognise anyone other than the Nehru-Gandhi family.

“There are some who feel only a handful of names contributed to national development,” he said, according to ANI. “They only want to hear those few names and ignore others. We think differently, we feel each and every citizen has worked for country’s development.”

Modi said it is impossible to forget the “dark days” of the Emergency. “Who imposed the Emergency?” he asked. “Emergency was imposed so that someone’s government doesn’t fall. We remember Emergency not to undermine someone, but to remember the importance of democracy.”

Modi said the Congress had missed opportunities to implement the Uniform Civil Code. He also asked the House not to link the bill for women’s empowerment (triple talaq) with religion.

The prime minister said that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s resounding victory in the 2019 General Elections showed that people thought more about the betterment of their country than about themselves. He said that after many decades, a government was voted back to power with a strong mandate.

“For the past five years, I always felt the government should be there for those who don’t have anyone to take care of them,” the prime minister added. He claimed that every BJP leader had cared about the poor in the last five years.

“I never think about polls in terms of victory and defeat,” the prime minister claimed. “The opportunity to serve 130 crore Indians and work to make a positive difference in the lives of our citizens is special to me.” He added that while it was difficult to eradicate diseases that have persisted for 70 years, the government had succeeded in curtailing them.

The prime minister said that in just three weeks since returning to power, the government had made landmark decisions such as providing pension to farmers, expanding the ambit of the PM-Kisan Yojana, providing scholarships to children of police personnel and holding an all-party meeting.

The prime minister urged the House to remember Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary on October 2. “We have to build the India our freedom fighters dreamed of,” Modi said. He also urged people to observe 75 years of India’s Independence in 2022 with enthusiasm.