Leaders of several Opposition parties took a dig at the hour-long address by President Droupadi Murmu to the joint sitting of Parliament, calling it more like an “election campaign” speech. The Budget session of the Parliament commenced today with the address by the President, who laid down achievements by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government in the Central Hall of the Parliament building.
Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor said that the President’s address seemed like an “election speech” where the BJP government was campaigning through her.
“The President doesn’t contest elections but it looks like BJP government is conducting its next election campaign through her. The entire speech was an election speech trying to praise the govt for everything it has done and skipping over the bits it hasn’t done so well,” Tharoor said, as quoted by ANI.
Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Derek O’Brien took a swipe saying that the speech did not have any mention about jobs, price rise, and the women’s reservation bill, among others.
“As is convention, President’s Address to both Houses of #Parliament is written by GoI (Government of India). Any line in speech about controlling prices, creating jobs, strengthening (fiscal) federalism, promoting communal harmony, passing Women‘s Reservation Bill ? Oh & 2 miserly lines about the NE (sic),” O’Brien tweeted.
Further, Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the party will present its views when the discussion is taken up in the Parliament.
“President’s Address reiterates what govt wants and does. Naturally, President presents the government’s statement. Still, we respect the President’s Address. When discussion on the Address will be done in the House, we’ll present our views,” said Chowdhury.
“There are a lot of issues against the government. We will raise these issues in Parliament one after another. There was nothing on unemployment in President’s Address. We and the citizens can see only the failures of the government. They only speak but don’t do,” he added.
Meanwhile, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said that the party will raise issues of inflation, unemployment and border dispute with China in the Parliament.
“In this Budget session, we’ll raise issues of inflation, unemployment and border dispute with China…Instead of congratulating the leader (Rahul Gandhi) who has walked from Kanniyakumari to Kashmir, they (Centre) are only cursing,” Kharge said. The Congress president and several MPs of the party could not attend the President’s address due to delayed flights from Srinagar on account of inclement weather, party leader Jairam Ramesh said. They are in Srinagar for the concluding events of the Bharat Jodo Yatra on Monday.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Telangana-based Bharat Rashtra Samithi had boycotted the President’s address to protest against the policies of the Centre and the BJP government. Following the President’s speech, BRS MP K Keshava Rao said, “We heard the President’s address today, but there was no mention of issues of unemployment and inflation. I suggest to the President to advise the PM to bring an act called the ‘Adani Act’ as there is only croony capitalism now,” Rao said.
The Budget session, which began today, will have 27 sittings and will continue till April 6 with a month-long recess to examine the budget papers. The government plans to bring around 36 bills, including four related to the budgetary exercise. The first part of the session will conclude on February 14, and it will again reconvene on March 12 for the second part. Opposition parties are raring to question the government over issues of unemployment, the BBC documentary row, Adani-Hindenburg issue, caste-based economic survey, among other issues.