The Opposition today slammed Narendra Modi government for failing to come out with any "concrete roadmap" on its agenda in President Pranab Mukherjee's address to Parliament, saying it was merely a "jugglery of words" and rehash of election slogans.
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said that the address was replete with slogans used by Modi in the poll campaign which the country has been hearing for the past six months.
"There is no new line of thinking. It is just jugglery of words. It does not give any sense of direction. It is full of platitudes and replete with cliches and slogans. There is no original vision of the government and the whole approach is superficial," Sharma said.
Mocking it over its "minimum government, maximum governance" plank, Sharma wondered whether it meant minimising the role of Ministers and maximising the role of Prime Minister in the government.
On foreign affairs, Sharma expressed concern over the "truncated world view" of the BJP-led government noting that the address is mum on Look East policy, BRICS, IBSA, West Asia and India's policy towards African nations.
"This truncated world view is very worrisome which will send a very negative image of us to our partners in the region," he said.
Sharma also reminded the Prime Minister that the BJP and the states ruled by it had opposed Goods and Sales Tax and the most strident opposition had come from Gujarat then led by Modi.
The President in his address today observed that the government will make every effort to introduce GST while addressing the concerns of the states.
Speaking separately, senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Veerappa Moily said that the BJP-led government was not focused on governance, creation of jobs and also on the issue of containing inflation.
"People were expecting and looking forward. But you don't find any concrete plans. There is no concrete roadmap. How they are going to achieve that?" Moily said.
Echoing these views, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the government's "blueprint" for the coming year was missing in the President's address.
"Compilation of election slogans and rehash of BJP manifesto were repeated in the speech. But how it will be implemented was not there. It has only expressed intention not the solution," he said
Another senior Congress leader Kamal Nath said, "The President's speech is enunciation of dreams and hopes which we have seen in the market place for last three months."
"The next couple of months will determine how much on course is the government making these dreams and hopes into a reality," he said.
At the AICC briefing, Sharma also found fault with government's FDI pitch wondering as to why did the BJP oppose FDI in multi-brand retail.
At the same time, he said Congress endorses government's intent as expressed in the sddress to pass the Women's reservation bill to provide 33 per cent reservation for women in state assemblies and the Lok Sabha.
He said the Congress also backs the government over its assertion that nuclear agreements will be operationalised and nulcear power projects for civilian purposes will be developed.
Taking a dig at the BJP, he said that the Congress still remembers what it had to face when it negotiated the nuclear deal but "we are happy that the stand taken by it was wrong and it has corrected it".
BJD MP from Kendrapara Baijayant Panda said that several announcements had been made in the speech and now the government will have to act on them.
He, however, added that there did seem a consistency between what Narendra Modi said during the election speech and the government's agenda.
Dont ake everything I write literally.
But please do take the previous sentence literally.
So much for constructive opposition!
Akash from Chennai, India is a big country with so many problems. Two weeks is nothing in the hiostory of a nation. Modi, apart from anything else, has showed that Indians need not be a prisoner of the vote bank politics which were run successfully by congress and all the other political parties.
I am surprised the criticism is limited only to a lack of concrete plan. They should have blamed Modi for not FULFILLING all the things said in the address. The man has been in office for two weeks now.
How much more time does he need?