My government's religion is ''India first'': PM Narendra ModiNew Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said his government, which followed the religion of "India first", was working keeping in mind the thought of "development of all" with particular emphasis on the northeastern part of the country.
Replying to the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks to President Pranab Mukherjee`s address, he also said his government "corrected" the land acquisition act for the sake of farmers, and if there is anything antifarmer in the law they are ready to change it.
He also stressed the government had "compelled" the nation to talk about black money.
He said his government was working for all states without differentiating which party was in power there.
"We don`t look at colour of the party`s flag in a state but look at the tricolour," he said, adding that his government was not discriminating among the states on the basis of their governments.
He also claimed that it was the first time after Independence, that the budgets of the states have more money than that of the centre, adding this has been done to empower states.
"We strongly believe that states are to be empowered and taken forward," he said, adding he had a chance to roam around the country for over 40 years and knew it well.
Mentioning the northeastern region, he asked rhetorically why he would visit such places from where only one or two MPs come.
Answering himself, he said it had "nothing to do with politics". "I am not after political gains. I go there to see how those areas could be developed... they have tremendous potential to be developed... be prosperous areas," he said.
Modi also cautioned communal forces, asserting the country`s diversity was its real strength and nobody would be allowed to disturb it. He said the constitution has everything that the country stands for and the nation was being run on its basis only.
"Nobody is allowed to take the law in his hands. My government`s religion is `India first`...my government`s religion is `constitution first`, he said amid loud cheers from members of the BJP and its allies.
Touching upon the contentious issue of land acquisition, Modi said despite knowing well why the previous UPA government was trying to get the land acquisition bill passed, his party stood behind it and helped it become an act.
"We knew that they were doing it for political gains in their last months in the government but we still supported it and it became an act," he said, adding that when the BJP came to power, the states started pointing towards problems it had, "so we are trying to make required changes in it and that`s it".
"My government is doing corrections and if you still feel there`s something wrong, I am ready to make changes," he said.
"This is a small solution to correct the mistakes. We don`t reject your attempt, we are just adding something," Modi said.
Congress attacks govt in Rajya Sabha over various issuesNew Delhi: Congress on Friday attacked the government in the Rajya Sabha over contradictory statements on the recent Pakistani boat explosion incident even as it questioned the Modi dispensation on various issues including giving much focus on manufacturing sector alone.
Participating in a debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's Address in the Upper House, Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry said the NDA government has failed to provide job opportunities in the last nine months.
Referring to the incident involving burning of a boat in the Arabian Sea over a month ago, he said, "One boat was exploded. Where are the bodies? ... We came to know one official saying that boat was blown off... What is happening? The government and Defence Ministry is giving different statement. Why are you making such contradictory statements?"
On the employment front, he accused the government of focusing on one sector for generating jobs.
"The government is emphasising on particular industry, that is manufacturing, to boost job opportunities. ....I want to know how many job opportunities have been provided in last nine months," Mistry said.
He also that there was no clarity whether the manufacturing sector will be labour intensive or capital intensive.
"We do not oppose industry. Our labourers are in bad shape and our industry should be labour intensive and not capital intensive. ...We should ensure we have industry that does not exploit the poor," Mistry said.
The country's natural resources should be used for the benefit of poor and not for industries, he added.
Noting that the government is with industries, Mistry said it was unfortunate the Prime Minister takes corporates as part of the delegation abroad and signs the deal. "We have never seen this earlier," he added.
Launching a counter attack on Congress and other Opposition parties, Chunbhai Kanjibhai Gohel (BJP) said the livelihood opportunities have not improved even after 67 years of the country's independence.
"The situation remains the same. What were earlier governments doing? It takes six months to understand the system. You are asking what we have done in last nine months," he said, targeting the opposition.
"This government is for poor. Action would speak more than words," he said.
Baishnab Parida (BJD) said the government's Clean India campaign cannot be successful without eradicating poverty.
"Without water, you cannot keep toilets clean. In villages, this facility is absent. We should think of providing water while talking about toilets," he said.
He further said that modern India cannot be set up without eradicating social evils like untouchability. The government's developmental programmes cannot be implemented with medieval thinking, he added.
Expressing concern over lack of knowledge about North East region and people, Biswajit Daimary (BPF) said, "North East is more backward than other parts of the country. Many ministers and bureaucrats do not know aobut north east people, caste, communities and looks. We are called immigrants."
He said that extremism in the region should be controlled to bring development in the region.
Chaudhary Munavver Saleem (SP) said that a dream of inclusive growth is shown but nothing has been done for development of farmers and Muslim youth.
"Slogans will remain slogans. There will nto be progress," he said.
Lalsinh Vadodia (BJP) also participated in the debate.
No proposal to legalise prostitution: GovtNew Delhi: There is no proposal to legalise prostitution in the country, Government on Friday informed Parliament.
"No, it does not arise," Minister of Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said in a written reply in Lok Sabha to a question in this regard.
She, however, said they have implemented a comprehensive scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue as well as rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of sexual exploitation.
To a separate question, she said 69 complaints of sexual abuse and other irregularities in child care institutions were received by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights between 201112 to 201415.
Uttar Pradesh alone reported 12 complaints and eight complaints were from Delhi and Haryana.