Opposition parties on Wesnesday slammed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day speech, saying it was "uninspiring" and that he had nothing new to offer on how to tackle inflation.
The principal opposition party BJP said Singh's address was "lacklustre" and "uninspiring" and that it did not address critical issues like corruption and price rise while CPI-M said nothing new has been said by the Prime Minister.
BJP leader LK Advani and Arun Jaitley are seen after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's address to the nation on the 66th Independence Day in New Delhi. HT/Raj K Raj
Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi voiced dissatisfaction at the address, saying he heard the speech not as a chief minister but as a common man and that he was disappointed.
Modi on Wednesday questioned his silence on the Mumbai violence and asked him to clarify his government's policy on the issue of Bangladeshi infiltrators.
He also accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of adopting "dual standards" with regard to incidents in Assam and Mumbai in his 66th Independence Day speech here.
"The infiltration of Bangladeshis in India is becoming a issue of concern. Assam (violence) is just a small example of it becoming a major problem for the nation," Modi said.
"Prime Minister, the country wants to know what are you thinking about Bangladeshi infiltration. What are your policies? Will Bangladeshis have a sway in India," Modi said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addresses the nation at the Red Fort during Independence Day celebrations in Delhi. HT/Raj K Raj
Accusing the PM of adopting dual standards, he said, "Why the Prime Minister has remained silent on the violence in Mumbai, while he expressed remorse on the violent protests in Assam? Why this dual standards ? How can a Prime Minister of a country be mum on such a serious incident."
The BJP strongman said he was surprised to hear the Prime Minister talk about difficulties to control inflation or cite coalition compulsions.
Modi also accused the Prime Minister of waking up late to the issue of skill development in the nation.
Emphasising on job creation infusing requisite skills to the youths, Singh said a specialised agency would be set up to facilitate training of eight crore people in the next five years.
BJP spokesperson Prakash Javedkar said, "PM's speech was completely listless and a speech which was not instilling any new confidence in the nation".
"The speech just mentioned but did not give any direction on the issues the nation and the people of the country are facing - price rise, inflation, corruption, the black money, slowing economy, monsoon deficit, and drought. It did not address any of these issues."
"People were expecting some new announcement and resolve of the government to solve the issues facing the nation. It was a complete lacklustre, routine speech and was totally uninspiring," he said.
CPI-M MP Nilotpal Basu said the Prime Minister has not said anything new and that he only repeated his passion for economic growth.
"The PM hasn't said about the issues such as hunger and inflation which are affecting our country," he added.