NEW DELHI(PTI): The Opposition on Wednesday tore into the government, questioning it on schemes like Jandhan, MNREGA and ’Make in India’ and slamming its defence and foreign policy, particularly vis-a-vis Pakistan, even as the ruling side cited various initiatives as its “achievements” and blamed the previous UPA regime for delaying progress.
The Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad in Rajya Sabha, while participating in a discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address, offered “help” and “coordination” even as he accused the government of “double speak” and “hypocrisy” over the initiatives taken by it and said there was no expectation that these will yield any results.
“There are so many things blown out of proportion. This is unfavourable….This is all hypocracy. Nothing is going to be done. I don’t have any expectation, any aspiration,” he said while moving some amendments to Motion along with party colleagues Ashwani Kumar and Moti Lal Vora.
“I am not talking about success rate. We have also worked,” he said, adding “We both should work together and coordinate together… No doubt, we are in opposition. But we are ready to help you.”
Referring to the farm sector and farmers, he said the government had neglected it. “We were happy when the government promised 50 per cent profit over and above MSP in its election campaign. But this was not done.”
Instead, the government gave an affidavit to Supreme Court and said it cannot be implemented, he said, adding even MSP has been hiked for “namesake”.
On the government’s target to double farm income by 2022, Mr. Azad said, “Who will be in the government then? The present promises are not fulfilled. It would have been nice if you had said it would be done in this tenure. How can you decide on the coming governments?”
He said the government started focusing on rural sector after cutting budget for it in last two years.
Attacking the government for trumpeting the Make in India programme, Mr. Azad said, “It has promised to create 10 crore jobs in five years. Two years have gone by. Where are the jobs?”
He added, “We would also be happy if poverty is eliminated. What has been done in this regard? Have you achieved this target?”
Praising the government for realising the importance of programmes started by UPA government and continuing them now, Mr. Azad said the ruling party started hailing MGNREGA and food law after checking its impact at ground level.
“There are many schemes that UPA had initiated. Why don’t you acknowledge them,” he said.
On Jandhan Yojana, Mr. Azad pointed out lack of progress made in opening of bank accounts though much publicity was being done on the same across the country.
Referring to the importance given to social democracy in President’s speech, Mr. Azad said, “We know what kind of attitude this government has towards Dalits. …Maximum atrocities were on Dalits and STs. The intensity of atrocities are increasing. What kind of sea change has come?”
With regard to foreign policy, he said the government is in “doldrums and indecisive” with regard to Pakistan.
“Your policy on Pakistan will not yield results… Pakistan is friend to no one, neither to us, nor you,” he said.
Progressive measures delayed under Congress-led rule: Nadda
Earlier, initiating debate on the Motion, Health Minister J.P. Nadda projected crop insurance scheme, Bangladesh border pact, skill development and transparency as government’s achievements and attacked the previous Congress-led regime, saying progressive measures have had to wait for decades to be put in motion.
He said when NDA government took over, the economy was gloomy and there was “policy paralysis and stagnation”, and now the world accepts India as the fastest growing economy.
The government is working with a “pro-poor” and “pro-growth” approach, he said, adding that schemes like Jandhan Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana had resulted in a “financial revolution.”
Taking jibes at the Congress, he said way back in 1971, it was said that bank nationalisation would benefit the poor, “but it was only after 2014 that the government has held the hands of the poor” and added that Jandhan has increased the number of bank account holders to over 21 crore from little over 3 crore.
Claiming that under the Modi regime, India’s global standing had got a boost, Mr. Nadda said the border pact with Bangladesh which had languished for nearly 41 years was resolved in only one and a half years.
“This demonstrates that change takes place when the political leadership has the political will to bring change,” Mr. Nadda said.
He also referred to the coal scam and 2G scams over which the previous UPA regime had faced flak and said that a theory of “zero loss” or “notional loss” had been floated then.
The Modi regime has in a transparent manner conducted auctions of these resources which have earned the exchequer lakhs and crores of rupees, the Minister said.
He also referred to the Fasal Bima Yojana and said it would have long term effect and ensure security to farmers who will now be compensated speedily even when their crops face localised or post-harvest damage.
Referring to the initiative for soil health cards, said even this scheme has had to wait for 2014 to be actualised. The Prime Minister and his predecessor Manmohan Singh were both present in the House.