New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a no-holds-barred attack on the Congress, saying the Britishers have gone but the party has made the "divide and rule" policy its character and has become the "leader of the tukde-tukde gang".
Replying to the debate in Lok Sabha on Motion of Thanks to President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the Parliament, Modi said the Congress' "arrogance" has not gone away despite multiple electoral defeats and its "misdeeds" seem to indicate that it has made up its mind not to come to power for the next 100 years.
The Prime Minister said the Congress "crossed all limits" during the COVID pandemic.
During the first wave, when people were following lockdowns and COVID norms, the Congress was standing at Mumbai Station and scaring innocent labourers into fleeing to their native states, he said. "You have committed a big sin," he added.
During his nearly 100-minute speech, he also accused the opposition party of indulging in "blind opposition" and strengthening separatism.
It is true that criticism is the ornament of a vibrant democracy, but "blind opposition" is an "insult to democracy", he said.
The Prime Minister noted that if the BJP loses one election its ecosystem works on it for months and slammed the Congress, saying that after so many defeats, "neither your arrogance goes away, nor your ecosystem allows your arrogance to go away".
Modi said it would have been good if the Opposition would have accepted and welcomed with an open heart whatever the country has achieved by 'Sabka prayas'.
Hitting out at the Congress, Modi said, "Sometimes a thought comes to my mind, with their statements, their programmes, their misdeeds, the way you speak and connect with issues, it seems you have made up your mind of not coming back to power for 100 years. Nobody does this."
"If they had little hope that people would bless them they would not have done so. However, if you have only decided to (not come back to power) for a hundred years, I have also made preparations," he said.
Modi asked that if his government is talking about being vocal for local, is it not fulfilling the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi. "Then, why was it being mocked by the Opposition?" he said.
"We talked about Yoga and Fit India but that was mocked by the Opposition too," he said.
Hailing the people of Tamil Nadu who had come out of their homes to pay tribute to India's first Chief Of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat when his body was being carried away after the fatal helicopter crash, Modi accused the Congress of hurting Tamil sentiments.
The Congress has always hated such things and a "divisive mindset" has gotten into its DNA, he said.
"The Britishers have gone but Congress has made divide and rule policy its character. That is why the Congress has become the leader of the tukde-tukde gang," he said.
He alleged that Congress has lost the desire to come to power and has a philosophy that when one is not getting anything then at least spoil something.
"They are sowing seeds that will strengthen the roots of separatism," Modi said.
In an apparent reference to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's speech in Lok Sabha last week, Modi said statements were made in Parliament with the intention to incite people.
While Modi did not name Gandhi during his address, he virtually took on all the criticism levelled by the Congress leader in his speech last week.
He asserted that many people have come and gone but the country is immortal. The country has been united and great, is so and will remain so, he said.
The Congress was winning elections since 1971 on the slogan 'eradicate poverty', however, poverty didn't end but people ousted that party, he said and added that people in several states have rejected the party for decades.
"The question is not about elections, it is about intentions. Despite being in power for 50 years, why are the people of the country repeatedly rejecting them? Wherever people have taken the right path, they did not allow you (Congress) to enter again," he said.
The Prime Minister said the way India handled pandemic is an example for the world.
He 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' is the perfect time to think about how India can play a global leadership role in the coming years.
Post COVID-19 pandemic, the world is moving fast towards a new world order and India should not miss this opportunity, he said.
The House later passed the motion thanking the President for his address to Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on January 31 by a voice vote.