Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday took on the opposition for accusing his government of going ahead with policies that will only benefit the corporate sector, and urged the Congress party-run states to also help elevate the situation plighting the poor.
"The Jan Dhan Yojana opened bank accounts for the poor: is that a program for the corporate sector or the rich? Is the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan a gimmick for corporates? Is it not our responsibility to provide basic cleanliness to the common man? When we build toilets in schools, is that too for corporates? Are soil health cards for the rich?" Prime Minister Modi asked while replying to the Motion of Thanks to the President's address in the Rajya Sabha.
"India has a large workforce, but we need a skilled workforce. Skill development will help the poorest of the poor. How will 'Housing for All' help the rich? Are they the ones without houses?
There can be no political agenda in this. We ask the Congress -ruled states to come work with us to improve the state in our country," he added.
The Prime Minister further said that the perception of the BJP as an essentially Hindi-speaking upper caste party has changed over the past few years.
"Governments do not run this country, it is the people of India who do. There was a time when The Bharatiya Janata Party was considered a party from the Hindi-speaking belt on India. But today, the BJP is in power, right from the Kutch region to Goa to Arunachal Pradesh," he said.
There was a time when the BJP was considered an 'upper caste party'. But after seeing me at the helm of the nation, the party cannot be called that anymore," he added.