Parliament winter session
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh taking stock of issues for the winter session of Parliament.IANS

Taking a conciliatory tone, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has acknowledged that all the prime ministers and governments that preceded him and his government have contributed to India's progress.

"No one can say that the earlier governments have not done anything for this country. I am not saying this today... I have said this from the Red Fort," PM Modi said, while speaking during the Constitution debate in Lok Sabha on Friday.

Modi also praised Jawaharlal Nehru for his greatness in accepting mistakes pointed out by an opponent during a Parliament debate.

His statement came just hours after the Congress slammed the Modi government in the Rajya Sabha for not acknowledging the contributions of leaders like Nehru, adding that the Bharatiya Janata Party's attitude proves its intolerance towards those who oppose its ideas.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the BJP is trying to "manufacture a clash" between India's freedom fighters such as Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and others.

"You can talk about the German Constitution, its dictator ... But you feel ashamed to talk about (Jawaharlal) Nehru. ... You are not able to recognise the contribution of the first Prime Minister .... This is called intolerance. It flows from the top and percolates down to the streets," PTI quoted Azad as saying.

"Those who don't have icons who took part in freedom struggle are trying to appropriate others. Ambedkar, Bose, Nehru, Prasad, Maulana Azad cannot be appropriated and will always belong to the people of the country," he added.

Modi said "People give us power when we work together in consensus. Consensus is more important than majority rule." His hour-long speech came at the end of the two-day special debate.

Modidescribed the constitution as his government's "only holy book" and India first its "only religion". "The Indian constitution is a binding force in a diverse country," Modi said

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