Hitting back at the opposition over their allegations about the Centre troubling non-BJP governments in states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday targeted Congress and said its leader Indira Gandhi had scored a "half-century" in dismissing elected governments.
Replying to the debate on the motion of thanks on the President's Address in Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister said the BJP-led government at the Centre has stressed on "cooperative, competitive federalism" while also framing policies keeping in mind national progress and regional aspirations.
"We are accused of troubling the states. I have been the chief minister for a long time. I understand the meaning of federalism. We have stressed on cooperative, competitive federalism. We have kept in mind national progress in our policies and also regional aspirations. Those who are sitting in Opposition today, they had tampered with the rights of states," PM Modi said.
Opposition members kept raising slogans during PM Modi's speech over their demands pertaining to Hindenburg-Adani row.
PM Modi said Congress repeatedly misused Article 356.
"Look at the history, which party and people in power misused Article 356 the most? Elected governments were toppled 90 times, who were those who did that? A Prime minister used Article 356 fifty times, and scored a half-century and that name is Indira Gandhi. In Kerala Communist government was elected which wasn't liked by Pandit Nehru and was toppled," he said.
"In Tamil Nadu too, governments of veterans like MGR and Karunanidhi were dismissed by Congress people. Sharad Pawar's government was toppled too. We have seen what happened with NTR when he was in the US for treatment and attempts were made to topple his government. This was the level of Congress' politics. They troubled every regional leader," he added.
PM Modi also took potshots at Nehru-Gandhi family over several schemes and places named after their members and asked "why people from their generation don't keep Nehru as their surname".
"Some had problems with the names of schemes of govt and Sanskrit words in the names. I read in a report that 600 government schemes were in the Gandhi-Nehru family's name...I don't understand why people from their generation don't keep Nehru as their surname, what's the fear & shame?" he said.
PM Modi, who was repeatedly cheered by BJP members, said that the country is made from the common man's sweat and courage and is not "any family's property".
"Some people will have to understand that this centuries-old country is a country made from the common man's sweat and courage. This country is not any family's property. We named the Khel Ratna award after Major Dhyan Chand. We named the islands in Andaman after Netaji. We are proud. There are some who do not leave an opportunity to demean the Army, we named islands after the recipients of Param Vir Chakra. This is our dedication. You have problems with it which is visible," he said. (ANI)