The opposition on Saturday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over what appeared like a “budget speech” on the New Year eve but didn’t reveal the amount of black money collected after the government’s demonetisation drive that caused unprecedented currency crunch in the country.
The Congress hit out at Modi and said that the 45-minute speech was “much ado about nothing”.
“No deadline, only headline, this has become the character of the prime minister,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said, adding to be in the headline always had become Modi’s craving.
The Congress leader said the schemes announced by the Prime Minister in his pre-recorded speech were like repackaging of the programmes launched by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
“He always talks about the poor, but makes policies for the 50 industrialist families of the country,” Surjewala said.
Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, a strident critic of Modi, called it a “budget speech”.
“The PM deviated from actual agenda of black money and demonetisation. He just took over post of Finance Minister and made pre-budget speech.So the Finance Minister (Arun Jaitley) was missing from this advance budget speech by the Prime Minister.
“Modi babu, empty vessels make the most noise,” Banerjee said in a series of tweets.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the Prime Minister had “betrayed the nation” but not revealing how much of the targeted black money had returned to the banking system.
“Not a single penny of black money has been recovered. There has been no reduction in corruption level. Modiji has lost all credibility,” Kejriwal tweeted.
The AAP leader added that the nation patiently listened to Modi’s “boring speech” in a hope that he would announce when “we’ll be able to withdraw our money without any restrictions”.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) Chief Lalu Prasad questioned if Modi could seek sacrifices from his “capitalist friends”.
“Tain Tain Fiss! The people of the country will again stand in queue from Monday. Modi speech was emotionless, ineffective, boredom and a pre- budget speech which was crawling Budget 2017-2018 on the knees,” the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief said in a tweet.
“If you have courage, ask your capitalist friends to make a sacrifice” for the nation.
The RJD Chief added: “Why didn’t Modiji say how much loss did the economy suffer, how would this loss be fulfilled, what was the fall in FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and how much was spent on printing new notes.”
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Mohammed Salim said the Prime Minister was “unrepentant and ignorant on people’s sufferings”.
“People sacrificed, waited and disappointed. No substance in speech, no apologies for 100 deaths, no information on what all this yielded,” Salim tweeted.
Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja told IANS that Modi “failed” to tell the nation what the government achieved after demonetisation.