"Let us be clear that the product should be good. If it is not then marketing will make no impact. Our product was liked by the people because of its quality," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha. The External Affairs Minister said the stature of India has grown overnight globally with the advent of BJP-led NDA to power.
Swaraj's remarks were a dig at Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge who had said on Tuesday that the BJP is good at marketing and propaganda, suggesting that it was the reason for its success in the electoral battle.
"You also did your marketing. But there was anger against your government...people accepted Narendra Modi as an alternative and the candidates (of the ruling alliance) became secondary and people cutting across caste and creed voted for Modi," she said.
She was intervening in the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address.
Swaraj said after 1984, it is for the first time that a single party has received majority on its own. It had happened in 1980 when the Congress got 300 seats and then in 1984 when it crossed the 400 mark.
"People had thought that the era of single party majority has ended. But this time, it is unique as BJP has got 282 and NDA 336...when we talked of getting 272 plus on our own, people laughed," she said.
"There is a race for world leaders to come to India and also invite Modi to their countries. They want to participate in our growth story and we also want to take advantage of it. These are good signs," she said.
With the Opposition alleging the BJP is "reeking of arrogance" after victory, Swaraj said, "The massive victory has also brought big responsibility and we accept the verdict with humility."
Swaraj said the BJP-led NDA will take lessons from the mistakes of the past government which was thrown out due to a variety of reasons including price rise, growing corruption, a series of scams, plight of farmers, sagging business and industry, unemployment among youth, atrocities against women, degradation of institutions and injustice to soldiers.
She also said the Centre did not believe in confrontations with the states and was for building 'Team India' where the Centre and states could have harmonious relations.
BJP reaped benefits of communal polarisation: Congress
Accusing the ruling BJP of having ‘reaped benefits’ of communal polarization in the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress said that the government should now focus on good governance and deliver on its promises.
Resuming the debate in Rajya Sabha on Motion of Thanks on President's Address, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said there was a "deliberate" communal polarization on the ground by the "party which is in power" and it did not win the elections just on the plank of development.
He hoped that after BJP "reaped benefits" of communal polarization, the government will now "focus on good governance".
The former minister said he was disappointed that the President's address did not talk about the works being done by the previous UPA government in the past 10 years.
Ramesh claimed there were "momentous changes" during the 10-year UPA regime and 140 million people had "escaped trap of poverty".
"We became victim of our own success," Ramesh said, adding a large number of programmes mentioned in the President’s address were continuation of UPA policies.
Ramesh wanted to know meaning of slogans like 'minimum government, maximum governance' and 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat (united India, best India)' and said he hoped 'minimum government' does not mean one-man government, one-office government.
Referring to Goods and Services Tax (GST), he said the bill could not be taken up by the previous government due to opposition of certain people who are now in government.
He, however, assured the Congress party's support to the government is passing the GST Bill.
Government making toll promises to garner votes: SP
Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav lambasted the government for making ‘tall promises’ which were ‘difficult to achieve’ to garner votes and asked the BJP-led ruling dispensation to explain how they would fulfill the aspirations of the people.
"You have made tall promises on several issues. You have even promised to take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and the territory taken over by China. Tell us by when will you do this. We will support you," he said.
"I am just warning you. You should not be so arrogant. We have earlier seen such electoral victory and have fought those governments too -- whether of Indira Gandhi or Rajiv Gandhi. We fought all of them. I am just reminding you," Yadav said.
"We fought the imposition of Emergency. After 1971, we saw 1977 (when Indira Gandhi was defeated by Janata Party). We also saw 1984 when Rajiv Gandhi stormed to power after Indira Gandhi's assassination and then saw 1989 (when Congress was ousted)," he added.
Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Yadav said, "Did you ask him to return the land (PoK)? What were the issues you discussed? Will you keep it a secret or inform the Parliament?"
Pro-people policies will be opposed: TMC
Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said any attempt by the government to digress from pro-people policies would be opposed tooth and nail.
He, however, assured full cooperation to Modi-led government but warned it ‘to be cautious in its quest to succeed’.
He said it is the duty of the new government to revisit and relook at the major economic reforms keeping in mind the poor.
At the same time, he stressed equal sharing of resources between the Centre and states saying "Finance Commission is the only constitutional authority to look into it" but over the years "the Planning Commission, set up by an executive order, has become the most robust extra-constitutional authority".
Justifying Goods and Services Tax (GST), he demanded an assurance from the new government that compensation of tax arrears will be paid to states before its implementation.
He also demanded expediting implementation of Amritsar-Kolkata industrial corridor, saying it will benefit seven states - West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Welcoming steps to bring back black money, Roy asked as to what the government was doing to inquiries by Income-Tax in connection with 498 Indian entities operating from tax havens like British Virgin Islands.
He cautioned the new government that it should ensure that its Ganga Plan was carried out meticulously unlike the past when the funds were siphoned off by the contractors and also wanted to know the fate of institutions like DRDO.
"Let us be clear that the product should be good. If it is not then marketing will make no impact. Our product was liked by the people because of its quality," External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in the Lok Sabha.
The External Affairs Minister said the stature of India has grown overnight globally with the advent of BJP-led NDA to power.