Lok Sabha

February 24, 2015

Saugata Roy speaks on Motion of Thanks for the President’s Speech | Transcript

Saugata Roy speaks on Motion of Thanks for the President’s Speech | Transcript

Saugata Roy speaks on Motion of Thanks for the President’s Speech.

Transcript of his speech:

Sir, I stand up to speak on behalf of All India Trinamool Congress on Motion of Thanks and stand here in support of my amendments.

I think at this stage this article 87, by which President makes his speech to parliament needs to be freshly thought of. It makes a person speak what he does not believe in. That is President’s speech. The President’s speech has quoted various persons and announced schemes in new name. That includes quotes from Shyamprasad Mukherjee and Din Dayal Upadhyaya. The President’s speech does not have any quote from Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rabindranath or Vivekananda. Now these two persons were just leaders of BJP, they were not national leaders, why should they be quoted in the President’s speech? And also, there is a new scheme has been announced under the name of Nanaji Deshmukh, he was not even a leader of BJP, and a new scheme has been announced by the President in his name. I strongly object to that.

Sir, the President’s speech mentions some new steps. The Government has been busy in dismantling old structures and repackaging old schemes. They have dismantled the planning commission and jettisoned the planning process without any consultation and consensus of the States. But nobody till now knows what the NITI Ayog is supposed to do? How the finances, planned fund for the states will be distributed. Sir, they have discontinued the JNURM for the towns but the Urban Development Mission has not yet been finanlised. Nobody knows what the ‘smart cities’ stand for. So the whole Government seems to be a Work In Progress. Nothing has been finalised. Sir, the Government has only repacked old schemes, the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme has become Pradhan Mantri Sichai Jo, The Nirmal Bharat  Abhiyan has become Swach Bharat Mission, The Prime Minister’s Financial Inclusion Programme which was in the 12th plan document  has become PM’s Jan Dhan Yojana, Rajiv Gandhi Gramin Bidyutikaran Yojana has become the Din Dayal Upadhaya Gram Jyoti Yojana,  the Direct Benefit Transfer scheme has become Pehel , Ganga action plan has become  Namami Ganga. Sir, in this house I have objected for, all new schemes being named after Nehrus and Gandhis Gandhiji and Nehru and I wanted schemes in the name of  Netaji. But, the new government does not think Netaji’s name should be there, and only in the name of small leaders of the party they have named new schems. Din Dayal Upadhyaya has 3 schemes in his name. Din Dayal Upadhyaya Gramin Koushal Yojana,and Din Dayal Upadhyaya Antoday Yojana. So in the name of one leader of their party, who is not a national leader they have named three schemes.

Sir, this Government with the President calling ‘my Government’ is a Government of packaging and photo opportunities. The PM dresses up in Rs 10 lakh suit and his photograph wielding a broom and then he is followed by film actor. There are only photo ops, advertisement and no content in this Government. Sir, what is happening down below is another story. The Prime Minister does not stop with photo ops he also gives sound bites and Mann Ki Baat. Yeh to pura film actor jaisa huya, is me to kahu Pradhan Mantri ka kaam nehi hota hai.

Sir, I want to say that the Government came into power with a full majority raising high hopes among people. A promise to bring back all the black money slashed abroad and to put back Rs 15 lakhs in every householders account. In the hope large numbers of accounts were opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Jogaja. But 8 months later this hopes are faded away. Now people have reacted. Aap ke non fulfilment of promises ke liye logo ne react kiya. Delhi me aap ka 7 MP seats tha, ab 3 mila. I have never heard that number of MLAs is less than number of MPs in the city of Delhi.

In Bihar they wanted to stop Nitish Kumar from being the Prime Minister, which they could not and in West Bengal, BJP was 3rd in the Parliamentary bypoll, proving that all these big talks and he visit by the BJP President has failed to make any impact in our State.

Sir, another reason for the sharp falling popularity of the ruling party is the intolerance displayed by the ruling party people. In this house we have heard an apology from a lady minister for her intemperate comment on the minorities; we have also heard an apology from a member of the ruling party for praising Gandhiji’s assigns. There have attacks of churches in Delhi and riots in Trilokpuri. Sir, after all these the Prime Minister gave a statement calling for tolerance. The next day after his statement the Viswa Hindu Parisad’s General Secretary spoke about continuing Gharwapsi. This has created fear in the minds of Minorities. And look at what has happened Sir, the Government has spoken of new metros in Ahmadabad and Nagpur. The Government’s thought process runs from Ahmadabad to Nagpur, which is the RSS headquarters. And what did the RSS General Secretary said yesterday, he said that Mother Teresa did social work with an objective of conversion. For an internationally recognised social worker, who has got the Noble Prize for Peace, the RSS General Secretary says this. Now, I would have not commented, but in this house, I heard the Law Minister say that he is proud to be a part of RSS. Is he proud of this RSS General Secretary statement calling names to Mother Teresa that is a point I hope the ruling party will clarify.

Sir, I want to say something, remind you that I came to this house in 1977, as a young boy. I used to sit here, next to me was a member called Ehsan Jaffri, he was a MP from Ahmedabad. He is no longer there; I won’t find him because he was killed in Gujarat riots in Gulbarga Society, one kilometer outside the Chief Minister’s office. How was the Chief Minister? He is our present Prime Minister. I do not want a situation in which something like that happens again. And if it is to happen, the Trinamool Congress people are prepared to sacrifice their lives to preserve communal harmony in the country.

In the former Act during UPA’s time after five years if the project was not built it would be given back to the original owner.  That is being removed in the interest of helping corporate.  We strongly oppose. The new amendment brought to the land acquisition act. They have tried to kill the act through this amendment.

Sir, food security is another important step taken by the UPA Govt. Now Santa Kumar, BJP MP has given report of a committee saying that there should come down to 40% in food subsidy. This government does not care for the poor, for the hungry. They are constantly talking about increasing doing ease of business.

Sir, I saw a statement by Deepak Parekh, he is the Chairman of HDFC Bank. He has said nothing has changed on the ground, citing delays HDFC Bank is facing in obtaining approvals, Mr Parekh said he has seen no improvement in ease of doing business. To raise some capital for HDFC Bank it took more time this time than earlier years to get approvals.  Yes, there is ease of doing business only for Mr Adani. When the Prime Minister went to Australia, the SBI Chairman flew  just to give a $ 1 billion loan to Adani. This is a government of corporate. This government is against the poor people.

Sir, lastly I want to say that our party has always opposed indiscriminate entry of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in vital sectors of the economy.  We have opposed FDI in Retail in UPA Govt.  Now, Prime Minister’s Make In India, is mentioned in the President’s address means entry of FDI. The Govt proposes 49% FDI in Defence, in Railways 100% and 49% in Insurance and entry of FDI in the Housing Sector. We oppose this entry in the country’s security and our quest for self reliance.

They are going to privitise the airports. They are going to de-nationalise coal mines. This is the way the way Govt is proceeding but as you know the coal industry had a total strike protesting against this. The working class will protest against the way in which the government is going.

Last but not the least; education has become a victim of the government’s efforts of saffronisation. A person with doubtful credential has been made Chairman of Indian Council for Historical Research. Now, Prof Amartya Sen resigned from the Chancellorship of the Nalanda University citing government interference in university autonomy.  There is also a danger signal. Instead of developing scientific temper amongst the students the Prime Minister is talking about the plastic surgery done on Ganesh’s neck. If the Prime Minister mistakes myths for real science of surgery then what will the students learns in his Man-Ki-Baath.

Sir, I shall end with two small points;

  • The government has been lucky in international fall in crude oil prices with the coming of American Shell oil in the market but the full benefit is not being passed on the  consumer and the government has used the windfall to make up for this budget deposit.
  • Sir, I may mention in this regard, the whole speech does not mention anything about the treatment, about the National Rural Mission. In our state we have started Fair Price Medical Shops in all the government hospitals

Sir, lastly the President’s speech denotes a shift in foreign policy. It does not mention SAARC or BRICS but calls American President’s visit historic. The need for non aligned movement in the present uni-polar world and need to face challenges posed by terrorist’s forces like ISIS and Al Qaeda are left out. All the bonhomie the Prime Minister calling American President by name surprised everybody. What happens, the President goes back and gives us a lecture of maintaining tolerance in this country. This country under the present Government bowed down to the Americans. Lastly I want to say let the BJP realise that the popularity graph is falling. They should get their act together and restrain the hotheads and fringe elements and lunatics of the party for doing things which are communal. Let them remember this is country which offers unity in diversity.  This is a country which has composite culture and not merely Hindu culture. Let them work at the government as they have got a majority but let them remember this country believes in Unity in diversity as mentioned in a great poem by Tagore.