Opposition has lost courage to contest polls: PM Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to the 'Motion of Thanks' on the President's address in Lok Sabha during the Budget session of Parliament

Prime Minister Narendra Modi replies to the 'Motion of Thanks' on the President's address in Lok Sabha during the Budget session of Parliament

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said he was convinced that the opposition parties have lost the courage to contest elections and have resolved to stay on the opposition benches for a long time.

Responding to the debate in Lok Sabha on the Motion of Thanks on President's Address, Modi said some opposition leaders were keen to change their parliamentary seats, while some others were planning to move to Rajya Sabha.

"I appreciate the resolution the opposition has taken. Every word of their speeches have confirmed my confidence and that of the country that they have resolved to stay there (in the opposition) for a long time," Modi said and blamed the Congress for the opposition's present condition.

"For several decades you were sitting here (in the treasury benches), but now you have resolved to stay there (opposition benches) for several decades. The people will bless you and keep you there. You will achieve greater heights and will be soon seen in the public galleries (of the House)," the prime minister said.

Modi said that the Budget Session was a good opportunity to make some constructive suggestions, but the opposition members have let go of a good chance.

"You have left the country disillusioned... Leaders have changed but the same tune continues," he said.

The opposition could have given some message to the people in an election year, Modi said, adding that the Congress was responsible for the present state of the opposition.

"Congress had a good opportunity to play a good opposition, but failed in that role. There are other young people in the opposition, but they were not allowed to speak out of fear that it may overshadow a particular person," Modi said in an apparent reference to Rahul Gandhi.

The prime Minister said the Congress may soon have to "shut shop" due to its attempt to launch the same product time and again.

"It's election time, and you should have worked a bit harder, brought something new and sent a message to the people. However, you failed miserably. Let me teach you this very thing.

"The Congress party is responsible for the current condition of the opposition. The Congress got an opportunity to become a good opposition. However, they failed to fulfil their responsibility in the last ten years...," Modi said in Lok Sabha.

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