New Delhi: Congress today attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delivering a "zero effect" speech and getting bogged down in "pedestrian issues" on Independence Day, saying it had "no new ideas, new schemes, and new initiatives". (Come, Make In India. Manufacture Here: PM's Call to Investors)
"Given that it was the first address of the new Prime Minister one would have expected certain vision to be articulated by him on the trajectory of the next five years. But it is unfortunate that PM got bogged down in pedestrian issues without being able to rise to the occasion," party spokesperson and former Union Minister Manish Tewari said. (PM Modi's Top Quotes)
Party general secretary Shakeel Ahmed said that it was a "zero effect" speech.
"It had nothing new. No new ideas, schemes, initiatives were announced by the Prime Minister," he said. (PM Modi's Independence Day Speech: Who Said What)
Ridiculing the Prime Minister over the issue of communalism, Ahmed said that Mr Modi should remember that the politics of the BJP are "based on communalism".
In an apparent reference to recent incidents in some parts of the country, the Prime Minister said communalism and casteism are an obstacle in the country's progress.
"On ground level his party is instigating all riots and conflicts. The Prime Minister himself climbed the ladder through communal conflicts," he charged. (PM Modi's Speech: Read the Highlights)
Regarding the Prime Minister's sanitation pitch and emphasis on toilet construction, Ahmed said, "Vidya Balan is already promoting sanitation ten times a day on TV channels and it is the part of the propaganda drive of the Ministry of Sanitation set up by the UPA."
About Mr Modi's talk of opening up bank accounts, he said "Under MGNREA, the government had ensured that even when there were no bank branches, they could open account in post offices."