Left parties today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not addressing the actual concerns caused by demonetisation to the poor and farmers and “failing’ to provide fact sheet on the amount of black money recovered during the 50-day period.
The parties charged him with delivering “budget speech” in view of forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab as he announced several “sops” during his televised address to the nation on the new year’s eve.
They also claimed that the Rs 6,000 assistance announced for pregnant women was a provision part of the National Food Security Act, 2013, which the government allegedly did not implement and asked Modi to instead apologise for not executing it till now.
“He spoke like a pracharak for most of the 45-minute speech… It was like a budget speech,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said. Yechury, who had yesterday raised a flurry of questions to the Prime Minister ahead of his address to the nation, rued that the PM did not announce any compensation for daily wage earners, fishermen, agricultural workers who were “hit hard” by demonetisation.
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He also lamented that the PM did not announce debt waiver to farmers while Rs 1.12 crore loans taken by corporates have been written off. “He (Modi) has talked about hardships of people standing in queues. But he said nothing on compensation to those 115 people who died in queues while withdrawing money,” Yechury noted.
Referring to Modi stating that all the money has returned to banks, Yechury said it means “all the black money has been turned into white now”.
“And when RBI will tomorrow say that more money has come into banks, then that means the counterfeit money has also come back. So, who are you fooling?” he said. On Modi’s comment over ending political corruption, Yechury said if the government is serious, it should pitch for banning corporate funding to political parties. Instead, the corporate funding should be directed to Election Commission to ensure polls are state-funded, he suggested.
“The Prime Minister said that simultaneous elections should be held… If Modi is really interested in simultaneous polls, is he willing to scrap Article 356 from Indian Constitution?” Yechury asked.
CPI national secretary D Raja said the Prime Minister made announcements during his address seemingly keeping in mind the forthcoming polls in UP and Punjab.
“It seems he spoke keeping the forthcoming polls in mind… because he has been referring to kisans, Dalits, poor… he thinks he can hoodwink people and people are not that naïve to be hoodwinked by such speech made by Prime Minister,” Raja said.