Prime Minister played to gallery, say Congress, Left parties

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 15, 2014

Congress general secretary and spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed

CPI (M) MP MB Rajesh

BJP leaders are all praise for Modi’s extempore speech

Opposition parties criticised Prime Minister Narandra Modi’s speech at the Red Fort, even as the BJP said it touched the hearts of millions.

Senior BJP leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the extempore ‘heart-to-heart’ Independence Day address of the Prime Minister will inspire and motivate people.

The speech is a reminder to the people, political and non-political, of their responsibilities, he added.

The Congress said the speech had no substance. Party general secretary and spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said Modi’s speech will have zero effect on people.

Double standard

He termed the condemnation of communal and caste riots by Modi as double standard.

“His party is based on the politics of communalism. On the ground, the BJP is instigating riots and conflicts. The Prime Minister himself climbed the ladder through communal conflicts,” Ahmed told reporters.

He added that the speech had no “new ideas, schemes and initiatives.”

He said the erstwhile UPA Government had started implementing Modi’s promises such as improving sanitation and ensuring bank accounts to all people.

“Vidya Balan is already promoting sanitation 10 times a day on TV channels and it is the part of the propaganda drive of the Ministry of Sanitation set up by the UPA. Under MGNREA, the Government had ensured that even when there were no bank branches, they could open account in post offices,” he added.

CPI (M) MP MB Rajesh accused the Prime Minister of playing to the gallery.

Promises aplenty

“As usual, he is giving a lot of promises. But where is the action plan?” he asked and added that the move to do away with Planning Commission reflects the neo-liberal ideology of the Government, which is against the very concept of planning.

“The process of planning is being undermined for the last two decades. We all had differences with the way Planning Commission was functioning in the country, but this time Modi wants to do away with even the process of planning.

“The need of the hour is to strengthen the planning process,” he added.

Rajesh said while Modi talked high on social spending, his Government’s first budget cut down the spending on social sector.

“Look at the latest Human Development Index report. Our neighbours, who were much behind us in various human development indices, have marched ahead.

“The Government should really look into various socio-economic issues the country is facing. But his speech provides no vision for the future,” he said.

Published on August 15, 2014

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