President's speech can't be 'glossary of plans': BJP

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 13:00 hrs

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) The BJP Thursday termed President Pranab Mukherjee's speech on the opening day of parliament's budget session as a mere "glossary" of government plans that failed to address crucial issues.

"The president's speech cannot be a glossary list of government plans. It neither reflects the state of the country nor the mood of the nation," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

"The biggest surprise is that the one-hour speech contained even names of government plans, which are not important," he said.

The opposition party leader said there was no mention of corruption or inflation -- two of the biggest issues facing the country.

"There was no mention of corruption or government strategy to contain it. That was very important because a new scam comes up each day," Prasad said.

"There was also no mention of the government's policy on inflation," he said.

Prasad said the BJP had "profound respect" for the office of president and Pranab Mukherjee but the speech was prepared by the government and the party felt free to criticise it.

BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy called the speech "a damp squib" and said the president might have read an old speech.

"It was a damp squib. I think he read the old speech because there was nothing new thing in the speech," he said.

Rudy said the government did not deliberately talk about corruption.

"Since this seems to be the last joint session before the election, I think by design, the government has chosen not to talk about corruption and other factors - about inflation and price rise - which are affecting every household. Petrol and diesel prices are constantly going up," he said.

Addressing the joint sitting of parliament, the president said the country would need to take "difficult decisions" to revive economic growth that slumped to a decade-low of 5.4 percent in the first half of the current financial year.

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