The Congress on Thursday said President Ram Nath Kovind’s address in Parliament was “hollow” and merely repeated the statements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The party said the President did not mention issues like farmer distress, economic slowdown and unemployment, which are ailing the country.
The Congress said the PM and the BJP-led government are “very fond” of “high sounding words” while manufacturing and investments have declined “to historic lows”. Speaking to reporters in the Parliament complex, deputy leader of the Congress in Rajya Sabha, Anand Sharma, said the President’s address was “uninspiring”, insipid and “hollow”.
“…it just repeats the statements of the Prime Minister or the executive decisions taken by the Union Cabinet after the assumption of office following the general elections,” he said.
Sharma said there wasn’t any reference to “past commitments made to the people of India in the Presidential addresses by the Government beginning with 2014” and there was neither any mention of “unemployment which has touched the highest number of 45 years”. He said that the President should have “expressed concern and given a roadmap on job creation, job generation month-wise that would have reassured the people, especially the younger generation”.
Sharma said “there is an economic slowdown in the country” and the country’s GDP growth has fallen to 5.8 per cent in the last quarter. He said “a statement in a President’s address or the government’s or the BJP’s assurance does not address the real crisis in India’s agriculture”.
The Congress leader said that if Modi wants to “open a new chapter seeking the co-operation to build consensus on important matters then that sincerity of intent must be reflected in the actions of the BJP and its government”.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, the newly appointed leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha said that with the issue of simultaneous polls, the BJP government is “trying to deflect the attention… without any rhyme or reason”.
The main opposition party wished the government well, said Sharma. “The government has to do its job, the opposition has to do its job but we understand our constitutional responsibilities and duties,” he said.
On the President’s address, BSP chief Mayawati said that the situation in the country warrants the question whether the address can assure the masses that there will be no difference in the promises and actions of the new government.