Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Congress insulted voters by questioning the veracity of electronic voting machines. Replying to the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in Rajya Sabha, Modi called the Opposition party arrogant for questioning people’s choice.
“After such a big mandate, you [Congress] say you [BJP] have won, but the country has lost,” said Modi, according to PTI. “Tell me, did India lose in Wayanad? Did India lose in Rae Bareli? What are they trying to say? That a loss for the Congress is a loss for India? Is India Congress, and Congress India? There is a limit to arrogance.” Congress President Rahul Gandhi won from Wayanad but lost to Smriti Irani in Amethi. In Rae Bareli, Sonia Gandhi emerged victorious.
The prime minister said Congress could neither accept defeat nor digest victory. He reminded the House that the grand old party could not win even a single seat in 17 seats. “My friends in the Congress: They have not been able to digest victory,” he said. “They have not been able to accept defeat. I do not consider this to be a healthy sign in a democracy.” The Congress, he said, should introspect, not blame others or claim that “democracy has lost”.
Modi said it was important to respect the electoral process and democracy. “Due to narrow-mindedness and perversity of thoughts, if some people do not accept mandate of the people by saying that ‘you may have won the election but the country has lost’, there can be nothing more insulting for our democracy than this,” he said.
“There was a time when we [BJP] were two MPs in Parliament,” he said. “People mocked us. But, we worked harder and won the trust of people. We did not make excuses and blame the polling booth. Let us appreciate how our electoral processes have improved. In the 1950s the polling process took so much time and violence and booth capturing were common in some places. Now, the news is about rising turnout. This is a healthy sign.”
Several Opposition leaders have time and again questioned electronic voting machines, and claimed that it could be hacked. Modi said those opposing EVMs have problems with technology, digital transactions, Aadhaar card, Goods and Services Tax and Bhim app.
Modi wondered why opposition parties were opposing the idea of “New India”. “Do we need that Old India where Cabinet proposals were torn in press conferences or where there are scams all over and support is extended to ‘tukde tukde’ gang?” he asked. “Do we need that old India where there was corruption?”
On Monday, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in “New India” humans are scared of each other. Taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government, Azad claimed that unemployment was at its peak and heinous crime like rape of minors were abnormally on the rise. “In ‘Old India’, there was no hatred, anger or lynching,” Azad said in Rajya Sabha. “‘New India’ is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won’t be scared of animals in a jungle, but you’ll be scared of humans in a colony. Give us an India where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians live for each other.”
Speaking for the first time on the Jharkhand mob attack, the prime minister said he was saddened by the incident. “But, some people in the Rajya Sabha are calling Jharkhand a hub of lynching,” he said. “Is this fair? Why are they insulting a state? None of us have the right to insult the state of Jharkhand.”
Tabrej Ansari was caught in Dhaktidih village in Seraikela-Kharsawan districtwhile allegedly attempting to steal a motorcycle on June 18. He was reportedly tied to a pole and beaten for 12 hours by a mob. The police took Ansari into custody and produced him in a court that sent him to judicial remand. According to the police, Ansari fell ill on June 22 and was taken to a hospital, where he died. The FIR said that the mob had also forced Ansari to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”.