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Modi “God’s gift”, Swaraj a national “asset”: Naidu

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “God’s gift to the nation” and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj a national “asset”, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said today, dismissing Congress’ demand for her resignation.

He alleged the Congress party had blocked proceedings in Parliament as it was “really rattled” by the success of the Modi government and wanted to stop the nation’s progress.

Rejecting Congress’s demand for resignations of Swaraj and Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh Chief Ministers Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chauhan over the Lalit Modi issue and Vyapam scam, Naidu said Swaraj is an “asset” for the country and others are “outstanding performers”.

“Sushma Swaraj is a great asset to the nation. There is a no allegation at all. Still they want her to resign,” he said, addressing a function of the BJP’s youth front Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM).

Naidu was most effusive in his praise of Modi, who he said, was “God’s gift to the nation” under whose leadership it had achieved successes like the Indo-Bangla land boundary accord and the Naga peace deal. It is because of him that Australia and Canada were willing to provide uranium for India’s nuclear reactors, he said.

“Modi is 3D,” he said, and went on to explain that three Ds stood for “decisiveness, dynamism and development”.

“In 1916, a great soul from Gujarat Mahatama Gandhi had spoken of clean India. Now, another person from Gujarat has taken the Swacch Bharat initiative,” he said.

Defending Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s decision to suspend 25 Congress MPs for causing frequent disruptions, Naidu said when the party was in power such steps had been taken several times, including in 1989, when 63 MPs were suspended, and also in 2013.

Countering criticism by the Congress that the Modi government had followed the “Gujarat Model” in suspending the 25 MPs, Naidu shot back, asking “Was there any Gujarat model in 1989?”

“They should not give any sermons. It is a case of ‘sau chuhe khake billi haj ko chali (after committing many sins, they are pretending to be holy)’,” he said.

Congress has been accusing the BJP governments of Gujarat, since the time Modi was the Chief Minister, of frequently suspending its MLAs without any provocation.

He also termed as “ridiculous” Congress’s argument in support of its belligerent posture that its six ministers had been forced to resign by BJP-led opposition and so there will be no let up in its campaign before Swaraj, Raje and Chouhan put in their papers.

On Congress leader Gurudas Kamat’s reported remarks about HRD Minister Smriti Irani having mopped the floor in hotels in her early days, Naidu said, “What’s wrong if an ordinary person becomes the HRD minister?

“The beauty of democracy is that a ‘chai wala’ (Modi) can become Prime Minister and newspaper vendor (APJ Abdul Kalam) can go on to be the President,” he said.

Lauding Kalam’s contributions, Naidu said, on the day of his burial “some friends in media were glorifying Yakub Memon”.