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The main opposition party, Congress on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address calling it “most disappointing.” While the Left called it “nothing spectacular”, Congress asked the Prime Minister to give an account of the failure of his government in fulfilling its promises to the people, especially the youth, farmers and weaker sections after three years of his governance.
The party also cornered PM Modi for not showing “sensitivity” to the Gorakhpur tragedy and not reflecting the gravity of the situation. Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma hit out at prime minister saying, “He has in a very trivial manner equated the Gorakhpur tragedy to national calamities.”
On Modi’s call for embracing strife-hit Kashmiris, Sharma said, “We have never stopped him from embracing Kashmiris. He should talk to all sections and create a national consensus as well as in Kashmir.” CPI national secretary D Raja alleged that the prime minister lacked conviction when he spoke about embracing Kashmiris.”They (the government) believe in a military solution to the dispute but he talks about embracing Kashmiris. There is no conviction in what he said,” Raja said.
Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah echoed Modi’s remarks that bullets and abuse would not help in resolving the crisis in the valley. “I guess that covers both sides – terrorists and security forces,” he said on Twitter. Taking a dig at the government with respect to demonetisation, Abdullah said “It also means RBI has finished counting demonetised notes to arrive at this firm figure of 3 lakh crores. Excellent.”
Prime Minister Modi in the address had also specified that violence in the name of faith was “not acceptable.” D Raja, however, lashed out at him saying he should should first ask RSS-BJP cadres to “stop engaging in communal attacks”. “What the prime minister said should be taken seriously by the RSS-BJP themselves,” the CPI leader said.
Similar thoughts were echoed by Anand Sharma who asked why the prime minister or home minister have not taken any action against those who had “created an atmosphere of fear and violence due to which people are feeling insecure”.”Why has action not been taken against such individuals or organisations, when they have their government in the Centre and states? Why have they not been arrested,” he asked.
The opposition also charged on the prime minister for taking the credit for GST and fight against black money and not acknowledging the “constructive cooperation” of the opposition in ushering in the new tax regime. “We did not expect the prime minister while addressing the country to completely ignore and then expect cooperation and endorsement from the opposition. His fight against black money was a sham and remains a sham,” Sharma said, accusing the government of promoting crony capitalism.
“Why has this government not given an account of how much black money there is in the money that has come back to the RBI vaults,” he asked. He also crticised Modi for not appointing the Lokpal despite being in power for three years. “If he believes in his words, then he has to be accountable for the non-appointment of the lokpal, for the dilution of anti-corruption laws and the RTI,” he said. Both Raja and Sharma also lashed out at the prime minister for not talking about employment and job creation anymore.
Calling out PM Modi for being “disrespectful” to the memory of his predecessors, Sharma said, “Modi did not mention those who fought for and gave freedom to this country, who built the foundations of modern and self-reliant India.”