In fiery speech, TMC's Mahua Moitra comes down heavily on BJP-led govttext_fields
Trinamool Congress's Mahua Moitra on Thursday came down heavily on the Modi government, while speaking on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address to the joint sitting of Parliament.
In her fiery speech, Moitra enumerated a number of human rights violations and alleged executive excesses during the last few years of the Narendra Modi government.
She took note of how India has fallen 17 spots to 111th position out of 160 countries in the Human Freedom Index and how the US-based Freedom House Report downgraded India's status from "free" to "partly free."
Lashing out that the country "remains one of the most dangerous places for journalists today, she mentioned that India is at an abysmal 142nd position out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index.
As Moitra continued with her fiery speech, Lok Sabha chair Rama Devi asked the TMC to calm down and speak with "less anger".
She further termed the mention of freedom fighters in the President's address as mere "lip service".
About the goovernment's recent announcement of installing a statue of Subhash Chandra Bose beneath the canopy at India Gate, she wondered if the iconic leader would have approved of the Dharma Sansad in which hate speeches were made.
"This government wants to alter history. They're fearful of the future and they mistrust the present. The president, early on in his address, speaks about freedom fighters who secured India's rights but this is just lip service," she claimed.
The BJP, she said, "fears the future" where on the eve of election, they may not be able to use government agencies to raid opposition leaders. "So you need to extend the tenure of the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation), ED (Enforcement Directorate) chief, depending on how they do your bidding," she said.
Citing two of the government's most controversial rules bitterly fought by the opposition, she accused the BJP of fearing a future in which bureaucrats in a state cannot be bullied by the Centre and so they amended the IAS cadre rules.
She also took a jibe at the Centre that it revoked the farm laws because the government feared the loss of 70 seats in Uttar Pradesh, where state elections begin next week.
Her speech was also peppered with references to the farmers' agitation, the 'Bulli Deals' app in which Muslim women were auctioned and the Pegasus spyware controversy.
Her sharpest barbs were reserved for the Pegasus spyware scandal, which is currently pending in courts.
"The way the masters of our republic mistrust the present is most acutely illustrated by the Pegasus" issue she said, asserting that she will bring it up despite its being sub judice since the BJP, during its days in the opposition, "brought down an entire government on 2G when 2G was sub judice".
Earlier, Ms Moitra had tweeted a dare to what she called the "heckler team" to prepare for her speech.
"Am speaking this evening in Lok Sabha on President's Address. Just wanted to give early heads up to BJP to get heckler team ready and read up on imaginary points of order. Drink some gaumutra shots too," Ms Moitra tweeted.