New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that former Congress Prime Minister Indira Gandhi undermined the power of regional leaders of Opposition parties and had dismissed state governments by “misusing” Article 356 of the Constitution several times.
While addressing in Rajya Sabha, he said the constitutional provision allows the Union government to take direct control of state machinery if its government is unable to function properly.
Modi said: “They say we trouble states, but they have toppled elected state governments 90 times. One Congress PM used Article 356 fifty times to dismiss elected state governments. That was Indira Gandhi.”
A day after a blistering attack on the Opposition in Lok Sabha, Modi addressed the Upper House Thursday as he replied to the “Motion of Thanks” on President Droupadi Murmu’s pre-Budget speech.
Modi spoke for over an hour in the face of relentless sloganeering and booing from Opposition members who demanded a joint parliamentary committee probe into the financial probity of the Adani Group. Billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate has faced a scathing attack from American short-seller Hindenburg Research, which in a report, questioned the company’s burgeoning debt and use of tax havens.
As the Prime Minister spoke about his government’s achievements, and said the Congress only played to the vote-bank gallery, Opposition members kept chanting, “Modi-Adani bhai bhai”.
Modi continued with his direct attack on the Gandhi family, asking if they were ashamed to use the “Nehru” surname.
Modi said: “If we miss out on mentioning Nehru anywhere, they (Congress) get upset. Nehru was such a great person. Then why don’t any of them use the Nehru surname? What is the shame in using the Nehru name?”
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