Outgoing Lok Sabha took decisions for which many generations waited for long: PM
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday lauded the outgoing Lok Sabha saying many decisions, including the repeal of Article 370 and the passage of women’s reservation bill, were taken during its tenure for which many generations had long waited while game-changing reforms in the period laid the foundation of a strong India.
Touching on the discussion on the Ram temple construction in Lok Sabha and the House’s adoption of a laudatory resolution on the development, Modi said it will give constitutional strength to the future generations to feel proud of the country’s values.
Speaking on the last day of Parliament’s Budget session, he said the last five years were a period of reform, perform and transform with the country moving towards “big changes” at a fast pace.
In a swipe at the opposition which has constantly targeted the BJP over the temple issue, he said, “This is true that not everyone has the capacity for these things. Some people are brave to face it while others run away from the battlefield. But for the future record, the speeches that were made today have sensitivity, resolve and sympathy… It also takes forward the mantra of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’.”
He added, “The country has moved towards big changes at a fast pace and all members of the House made an important contribution. Such works were completed for which people had waited for centuries,” he said.
For generations, people dreamt of one Constitution but this House made that possible by removing Article 370, which had given the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir special rights, he said and noted that several other important decisions like the criminalisation of instant triple talaq were taken as well.
“Several challenges were met and the country was given an appropriate direction. We can say with satisfaction that the work for which many generations waited for centuries was accomplished in the 17th Lok Sabha,” Modi said.
“These five years have been of reform, perform and transform. It is rare that we reform, perform and also see transformation. The country will keep blessing the 17th Lok Sabha,” he said.
The government has been a source of reassurance for people living on the margins of society, he said, highlighting the measures taken to empower the transgender community. A transgender person was also given Padma award, he added.
India got the presidency of G20 during this period and every state presented the country’s strength and its identity in front of the world, he said.
“We can proudly say that this country might have lived under ‘penal code’ for 75 years but now we live under ‘Nyay Samhita’,” the prime minister said in reference to the new criminal laws which replaced British era acts.
Noting that the next Lok Sabha polls, expected in April-May, are not far away, he said it might make some people apprehensive but it is an essential feature of democracy. He expressed confidence that the upcoming elections will enhance the glory of Indian democracy.
The prime minister thanked MPs and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
“You (Birla) always had a smile on your face no matter what happens. You led this House in a balanced and impartial manner and I laud you for it. There were times of anger and accusations but you handled these situations with patience and ran the house wisely,” Modi said, praising Birla.
Referring to the Covid pandemic, Modi said that during the last five years, the “biggest crisis of the century” was seen, and Birla made arrangements so that parliamentary work is not hampered while ensuring the dignity of the House.
The country’s work was not allowed to stop, Modi said, praising parliamentarians for relinquishing their annual constituency development fund and 30 per cent of their salary during the pandemic. He also praised the Speaker for removing subsidized canteen facilities for the MPs as it often drew criticism in different parts of the country.
There used to be talk of the need for having a new building in earlier times but the decision of the speaker made this a reality during the 17th Lok Sabha.
He said the 17th Lok Sabha saw 97 per cent productivity.
“We are moving towards the end of the 17th Lok Sabha and we resolve that the productivity should ensure 100 per cent in the 18th Lok Sabha,” Modi said.
He also hailed the passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill and the criminalisation of instant triple talaq.
He hailed the Speaker’s decision to make the Sengol, a sceptre symbolising ancient traditions, a part of the annual ceremony and said that it will connect future generations with the moment when India achieved independence while being a source of inspiration.
Throwing light on the significance of the next 25 years for the nation, he said the country has resolved to accomplish its dreams and he can sense it.
He said the passage of the Digital Personal Data Protection Act has safeguarded the data of the present generation and given it a tool to make its future.
He said thousands of cumbersome compliances were removed in the last five years to make the lives of common citizens easier. Reiterating his belief in “minimum government and maximum governance”, he said the capabilities of any democracy can be maximized by ensuring minimum government intervention in citizen’s lives.