“Agriculture is the backbone of rural economy. But we need to change the old ways of thinking,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

“We need to think beyond partisan lines to hand-hold the farmer. The corporate world has no investment in agriculture beyond making tractors. There needs to be more investment in food processing, building warehouses, facilitating the movement from seed to the market. We need to have a futuristic vision for agriculture,” Modi said in his reply on the motion of thanks on the President’s address in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

A modern, fast-growing economy which needs to count among the top five in the world has to account for the common man as well as lay down strong infrastructure for such growth to be possible.

“People make fun of Make in India. But can anyone here disagree with the fact that we have to develop our manufacturing sector. Why is it that we, who had more resources and infrastructure than China in defence infrastructure 50 years back are now the biggest importer of defence equipment while China is among the biggest exporter? We need to think on these lines if we have to become a $5- trillion economy,” the Prime Minister said, emphasising that the new national slogan beyond “ Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan ” should factor in “ Jai Anusandhan (hail innovation and research)”.

Targets Opposition

Targeting Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul Gandhi who were both present in the House, the Prime Minister referred to the various corruption charges against them.

“We will continue our fight against corruption. This is not the Emergency where the Government will put anyone in jail. There are the courts for that. So those who have got bail from the courts should enjoy themselves,” he said. Hurling a barb at Rahul Gandhi who went abroad after the elections, he said, “We are servants of the people. We neither have nor do we want the luxury of vacationing abroad after six months of a hard election.”

Recalling Emergency, as June 25 is the anniversary of what is commonly called the “darkest chapter in Indian democracy”, the Prime Minister said, “On the night of June 25, the soul of India was crushed. Media was silenced, opponents were jailed and judiciary crushed to save someone’s government. We remember this day not to show anyone down but to remind everyone that such a catastrophe is never revisited.”

Triple Talaq Bill

Making a push for the Triple Talaq Bill, Modi said the Congress has never really cared about the progress and development of the Muslims in India.

“They rid themselves of the opportunity to implement the Uniform Civil Code in 1950s by just implementing the Hindu Code Bill. Then in the Shah Bano matter, another opportunity was missed. Now, there is a third opportunity in the Triple Talaq Bill so I urge you to help us pass it,” the Prime Minister said.