Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 43-minute long address on the eve of New Year has garnered a mix response from politicians.
While his ministers lavished praise on him for the schemes that he had announced last night, the opposition criticised him for misleading the people and not divulging the details of black money recovered during the 50-day-long demonetization drive. “The way people have supported the Prime Minister’s landmark decision of demonetization, it is incredible. And that’s why Prime Minister Modi in his address thanked the nation. He also announced several schemes for the lower class and the lower-middle class,” Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra said.”All this means that Prime Minister Modi thinks about the poor and the downtrodden. He has announced various schemes for the farmers as well. On farmers? part, interest subvention as well as conversion of KCC into RUPAY card has been done. He has increased the credit limit of MSME from one crore to two crore,” he added.
The Union Minister further said that according to him, it was an inclusive address as a whole and the schemes announced have covered every section of the society. “From poor to destitute, everyone has been covered,” he said.
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma also lavished praise on Prime Minister Modi’s address, saying he always thinks about the progress of poor people and that was reflected in the schemes announced by him. “Prime Minister Modi has himself gone through poverty. So, he understands the pain of the poor. The schemes that he has announced will benefit the nation. He always thinks about the progress of poor people,” Sharma said.
Meanwhile, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Manoj Jha criticised Prime Minister Modi’s address, saying he didn’t speak about the struggles which the people had to bear during the last 50 days. “The Prime Minister always speaks but never listens. He didn’t speak about the struggles farmers faced during demonetization. We found it very unfortunate,” Jha said.
Echoing similar sentiments, Congress leader Meem Afzal said that Prime Minister Modi has just shown dreams to people and has misled them. “I think Prime Minister Modi has just showed people dreams. The Prime Minister has promised many schemes and misled them. He didn’t spoke about how much black money caught after November 8,” Afzal said. “His speech seemed like he was scared and he spoke about these schemes to impress people. If Prime Minister Modi takes decision to stop corruption then the opposition will support him but he took a decision. He is doing all this for the upcoming elections,” he added.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had yesterday said that people of the country were disappointed over the Prime Minister’s speech who remained silent on withdrawal limits imposed post demonetization. “We are extremely disappointed with the Prime Minister’s speech. Many questions were left unanswered. His decision paralyzed nation’s economy. The country can’t run this way,” he said. “We once again urge the Prime Minister to withdraw the restrictions imposed on withdrawals post demonetization,” he added.
He also said that it has become a habit of Prime Minister Modi to make headlines and no deadlines. Launching a scathing attack at the Prime Minister, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Nawab Malik described latter’s address to the nation as a ‘pre-poll budget announcement’. “Prime Minister Modi utilized the rights of the Finance Minister and his address to the nation was nothing but a pre-poll budget announcement,” Malik said.
Malik further said that the way the Prime Minister has spoken to the country in the address, it looked like he was presenting budget to get benefit in the upcoming vidhan sabha elections. “In his address to the nation, the Prime Minister said that big notes were the reason of corruption, inflation and wrongdoing in the country. After demonetizing Rs. 1,000 and Rs 500 notes, the government has started a big note of Rs. 2000 will it reduce corruption or increase it? Prime Minister has to reply this,” he said. “He has not described as how much black money has been recovered and how much problems people of the country faced post demonetization. He has not given a single scheme for the unemployed youth,” he added.
In his 43-minute address, Prime Minister Modi on Saturday announced several schemes for farmers, pregnant women and senior citizens. He has also provided certain exemptions and relief on home loan interest to the poor and middle class.
Saturday’s address to the nation came a day after the expiry of 50-day deadline set by the government for people to deposit old high-value currency notes in banks and post offices.
It was Prime Minister Modi’s second address to the nation. The first was on November 8 when he announced the scrapping of Rs. 1,000 and Rs.500 currency notes.