PM Narendra Modi I-Day speech failed to offer vision for future: Opposition

Written by PTI | Updated: Aug 16 2014, 03:05am hrs
Opposition parties were today critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first Independence Day speech and said it was caught up in "pedestrian issues" and failed to offer a vision for the future.

However, BJP said it was Modi's "heart-to-heart extempore address that will inspire people to take the country on the path of development".

While Congress attacked the Prime Minister for delivering a "zero effect" speech as it had "no new ideas, no new schemes and no new initiatives", the Left parties slammed it for the announcement to dismantle the Planning Commission.

"Given that it was the first address of the new Prime Minister, one would have expected certain vision to be articulated by him on the trajectory of the next five years. But it is unfortunate that the PM got bogged down in pedestrian issues without being able to rise to the occasion," party spokesperson and former Union Minister Manish Tewari said.

Tewari also charged that it seemed to be more an election speech than an address to the nation.

"The Prime Minister conveniently overlooked the issue of inflation that has gone through the roof in the past two months, ignored cross-border incursions by Pakistan, cartographic invasion by China and was selectively amnesiac about the BJP's own track record in fanning communal passions while talking about a moratorium on communal riots.

"All in all it seemed to be more an election speech than an address to the nation," Tewari added.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said Modi's address was a "zero effect" speech. "It had nothing new. No new ideas, schemes, initiatives were announced by the Prime Minister," he said.

Ridiculing the Prime Minister over the issue of communalism, Ahmed said that Modi should remember that the politics of the BJP is "based on communalism".

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury questioned the decision to abolish the Planning Commission.

"There is a lot of gap between the walk and the talk. Always these yojnas (schemes) are implemented by the Planning Commission. Now you (Modi) said you will dismantle it. So who is going to do it (implement schemes) and who is going to monitor it," Yechury said.

Senior BJP leader and Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, however, said Modi's speech will inspire the people to "take the country on the path of unity, integration and development".

Modi in his I-Day speech said the government has decided to abolish the Planning Commission, a 64-year-old apex policy- making body, and replace it with a new set-up which would address emerging economic needs and strengthen the federal structure.

CPI general secretary D Raja said that although Modi talked about poverty, he failed to talk about empowering people in the proper sense.

"The Prime Minister, while attacking poverty, did not talk about empowering people in the proper sense... about the responsibility of the government in fighting inflation, unearthing black money," Raja said.