"The good news is Parliament is running," remarked Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday as he sent his audience at an event into peals of laughter.
Modi was delivering the inaugural address at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here and 35 minutes into his speech inquired from his hosts whether he had some more time. He began his speech at 1015 am shortly before the scheduled commencement of Parliament session at 11 am.
"I have to go to Parliament. The good news is that Parliament is running," he said, and hastened to add," the credit does not go to Modi but to all the parties". The audience at the event comprised dignitaries from various walks of life.
The prime minister made the reference about the functioning of the Parliament against the backdrop of the virtual washout of its Monsoon session over various issues.
Modi said his government was taking states on board for development of the country, asserting that India can move ahead only on the "strong shoulders" of the states and not from Delhi alone.
"India is not going to progress from Delhi," Modi said.
Citing various measures taken by his government like setting up special departments for states at the Centre in taking them along, Modi said the states have the most "important role" in India's progress.
"States have the most important role in India's progress. India can move ahead only on the strong shoulders of the states and not from Delhi alone. If we walk together shoulder to shoulder then results will automatically come," he said.
Modi said it is important that the world knows about our states and their strengths.
During his 40-minute speech that was laced with humour, the prime minister also said that a decisive mandate given to his party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was crucial to the country's progress.
Having a stable Government is a very big thing and this can't be ignored. Fractured mandates always have uncertainty," he said, adding, there was "despondency" all over before his government took over office in May last year.