Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President and Nalgonda MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the address of President of India Ramnath Kovind to joint session of Parliament on Thursday was a big disappointment for the people of Telangana State.
Speaking to media persons at AICC Headquarters here, Uttam Kumar Reddy said there was no assurance by the Centre in the President’s address on fulfilment of promises made for Telangana in Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act. Citing the mention of Telangana in the President’s Address to the Parliament in 2004, he said that the Congress-led UPA Government had given its commitment on granting statehood and subsequently, fulfilled it despite several hurdles and sacrifices. He said that the BJP Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi lacks similar commitment or importance for Telangana State. “Telangana did not get its due share from the Centre in the last 5 years. This time too, BJP Govt gave clear indications that honouring commitments to Telangana as per AP Reorganization Act was not its priority, he said.
Uttam said that the President’s address did not touch upon crucial issues. There was no mention of rising unemployment, deteriorating conditions of public health or farmers suicides. “President’s address should have been apolitical. But the President’s address was full of praise for BJP, without naming it,” he said.
The Congress MP said that the President erred while referring the period prior to 2014 as uncertain and unstable. “UPA-I & UPA-II were totally stable governments. India had witnessed highest ever growth under UPA regimes. The country became an economic power under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh. Many revolutionary laws like RTI, RTE, Land Acquisition Act, etc., were enacted during the 10 year period. However, an impression was given in the President’s Address as if India started developing only after 2014 under Modi Govt,” he said.
Uttam said that the President has welcomed increase in the number of women MPs this time. Instead, he said that the government should have given a commitment to pass Women’s Reservation Bill to provide 33% reservation for women in legislative bodies. Further, he said although the President has listed out various schemes being implemented by the Centre for farmers, he did not mention anything about farmers’ suicides. “More than 1.5 lakh farmers are committing suicides in India every year. The government has even stopped publishing the NCRB (National Crime Records Bureau) data to hide the truth. There was no mention of how the government proposes to stop farmers’ suicides,” he said.
Further, he said no roadmap or even outline was given on steps to be taken to double the income of a farmer by 2022. “None of the promises made to farmers by Modi Govt in its first tenure were honoured. The Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations remained unimplemented and even now, doubling of farmers’ income appears to be ‘jumla’ and not a concrete plan,” he said.
“President has rightly said that this year, events to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, being held around the world, will promote India’s ‘Thought Leadership’. However, it is unfortunate that some of the supporters and sympathisers of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse’s are sitting on Treasury Benches in the 17th Lok Sabha,” he said.
The MP said that the issue of black money has been downplayed by the Centre confining it to dubious companies. There was no mention of what PM Modi had promised with the people in 2014 elections of bringing back Black Money stashed in foreign countries and deposit Rs. 15 lakh each in the accounts of all Indians. Further, he said that the President, in his address, has claimed that over 26 lakh people benefitted from the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. However, he said President Kovind did not speak about death of over 150 children in Muzaffarpur of Bihar. “Public Hospitals under PM Modi’s regime are still not equipped to deal with cases like Acute Encephalitis that killed over 150 children in Bihar,” he said.
He said that there was utter silence on the issue of rising unemployment rate in the country which is highest in the last 45 years. “Demonitisation, followed by irrational GST, has badly hit the economy, especially the MSMEs. But the negative impact of ill-conceived policies was completely skipped in the President’s Address and an attempt was made to make everything appear good,” he said.
Uttam said that the Congress party would raise the public issues in the Parliament and reiterated his vow to fight with the Centre to get due share for Telangana State.