Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the crowds gathered for India’s first Global Citizen Festival in Mumbai on Saturday before the English Music band Coldplay performed. In his short, light-noted address, the prime minister acknowledged that the thousands of people in the Bandra Kurla complex were more eager to hear the band play and said, “I know that I stand between you and Coldplay so I will make this brief.”
PM Modi went on to say that, “You have been smart in asking me to only address the gathering, and not sing. Else, I am pretty sure your audience would be asking you for their money back. And that too in 100 rupee notes.” The comment has garnered some negative criticism in light of the hardships that the public has had to go through ever since Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes were demonetised on November 8.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, in a series of tweets, said the PM had time to address a rock concert, but not Parliament where the opposition has been demanding his response to the problems being faced by the people. “Tragic indeed Modiji! As India suffers, bleeds and several die, your self-promotion in a rock concert is almost cold-blooded,” Surjewala said.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also put out a tweet criticizing the PM’s address, saying, “The cold play while the poor suffer!”