Home / India / Silence on Gautam Adani marks 90-minute speech by Narendra Modi

PM heaps praise on ‘stable and decisive government’

Silence on Gautam Adani marks 90-minute speech by Narendra Modi

Opposition benches, including Rahul, thumped the desk and chanted 'Adani, Adani' and 'we want JPC' as the Prime Minister spoke
Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi
File Photo

Our Special Correspondent   |   New Delhi   |   Published 09.02.23, 02:57 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke for nearly 90 minutes in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday but not once did he utter the “A” word or reply to any of the five questions Rahul Gandhi had asked him on the Adani issue, choosing instead to play the victim by accusing the Opposition of hurling “gaali” (abuse) and “jhoot” (lies) on him.

The “A” word, however, kept reverberating in the Lok Sabha as Modi was replying to the motion of thanks on the President’s address to Parliament. The Opposition benches, including Rahul, thumped the desk and chanted “Adani, Adani” and “we want JPC” as Modi spoke.


The Treasury benches reacted by chanting “Modi, Modi…” but it led to louder chants of the “A” word from the Opposition members.

Modi sought to be combative and betrayed a sense of arrogance as he tried to shrug off the charges of his association with industrialist Gautam Adani (without taking his name), saying that crores of people who have benefited from the welfare schemes of his government will not believe the “lies and abuses” and that his image won’t be dented because he had the “suraksha kavach” (protective shield) of the people’s trust.

“140 crore deshwasiyon ka vishwas mera suraksha kavach hai, aapke gaali aur jhooth ke shastra isko bhed nahi paayenge (The trust of 140 crore Indians is my shield; your abuse and false charges will not be able to dent it),” Modi said. He cited the names of the welfare schemes of his government that provided him with a “protective shield”.

The countrymen have trust in Modi, because 80 crore people were provided free food grains when Covid struck. The One Nation One Ration Card scheme has ensured easy availability of food grain to the poor. How will they (the poor) believe your false charges? The PM-Kisan Yojana has benefited poor farmers. Will they believe your abuses and falsehood?” Modi went on.

He shrugged off the popular perception that the mainstream media had a key role in building Brand Modi and claimed that “people’s trust in Modi is not because of newspaper headlines or TV visuals but because of my years of dedication”.

Modi said his “stable and decisive government” had steered the country through the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and global instability, and filled the people with “positivity”.

Modi accused the Opposition (particularly the Congress) of being “drowned in despair” (nirasha me dube) because they can’t “take the success of the country”.

Sporting a light blue half-jacket, which the government managers claimed was made of recycled plastic and thereby demonstrated the Prime Minister’s commitment to climate change, Modi not only avoided the “A” word but also refrained from taking Rahul Gandhi’s name, choosing to obliquely attack the Congress MP by referring to him as “kuch log” (some people).

“Yesterday, after some people’s remarks in the Lok Sabha, the entire ecosystem was jubilant. Some people were very happy, saying that ‘this is how it should be’,” he said with a smile. “Some people were so happy that they didn’t come today. They must have slept so well that they forgot to wake up in the morning,” he said in the early part of his speech, seeking to target Rahul who had not arrived in the House till then.

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