Only rhetoric, no substance in Modi’s speech: Uttam

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has described the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on New Year’s eve as disappointing and said it was full of rhetoric and less of substance.

Addressing a massive public meeting in Miryalguda on Sunday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said people had expected a lot from Modi’s Saturday’s speech as it was delivered at the end of 50-day deadline set by the Prime Minister himself. “Common man in the country was expecting lifting of all withdrawal restrictions and several other major announcements. However, there was more dialogue delivery and nothing concrete in the speech,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that crores of people who have been standing in long queues at banks and ATMs expected that the Prime Minister would offer a solution to their problem. “Instead of permitting people to withdraw their own hard earned money from their bank accounts without any limitations, the Prime Minister tried to turn a preacher. He did not speak a single word on black money nor did he give figures on how much black money has been unearthed through demonetization. He had no courtesy to speak a word for those killed in long queues due to demonetization. He tried to divert from the main issue of demonetization and showed us a trailer of next budget speech,” he said.

The TPCC Chief said that the Prime Minister and other BJP leaders should reply to the Citizen’s Charter of Demands presented by AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. He said that the Prime Minister should specify the actions taken by the Central Government in view of the damage done in the name of demonetization. He said that the Centre needs to answer on lives, jobs and livelihoods which were lost due to unplanned implementation of demonetization.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also slammed Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for extending blind support to Centre’s demonetization move. He said that KCR’s decision has crippled the economy of Telangana. He said that the demonetization had a negative impact on all revenue earning departments and consequently, it would hit all sectors. It is unfortunate that KCR was not standing alongside common public, small and marginal farmers, traders, who were affected due to note ban, but was supporting Modi without realising its consequences and impact on Telangana State.

The Congress leader demanded that all restrictions on withdrawal of money be lifted with immediate effect. Since the total sown areas in Rabi crops has come down, the Central Government should give a special 25% bonus over and above the MSP of all Rabi crops. He also demanded that Rs. 25,000 be deposited in the account of at least one woman belonging to each BPL family as compensation for the immense suffering caused to women due to demonetization. The number of guaranteed work days and the wage rate under MGNREGA should be doubled for a period of one year. The government should organize a special drive to identify and register all those who have lost their jobs since November 8, 2016, and provide them compensation at the applicable minimum wage rate for a time period extending up to 31st March, 2017.

The TPCC chief alleged that KCR was trying to cover up the failures of his economic policies and wrong decision under the demonization move. He said of Rs. 1.30 lakh crore budget for 2016-17, so far, the State government did not spend even half of allocated amounts. With the demonetization badly hitting the State’s earning, one can expect that the overall spending would not cross even 75%, he feared.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also condemned the TRS Government for introducing an amended new Land Acquisition Law. He said that the new law was aimed at forcible acquisition of land from farmers and denial of rightful compensation and resettlement for the affected persons. He said that the Congress party would wage a battle against the wrong policies of both BJP and TRS governments.

Congress Legislature Party leader K. Jana Reddy and other senior leaders also addressed the public meeting. –NSS

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