Cong dubs PM's eco package announcement headline grabbing; BJP says it will make India self-reliant

07:40 AM May 13, 2020 | PTI |
New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday dubbed the stimulus package of Rs 20 lakh crore announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one that only grabs headlines, while the ruling BJP hailed it as the world's largest holistic package. The Congress and the CPI(M) said India was disappointed by the PM's silence on migrants' woes as he has failed to address the issue. While Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the Modi government took decisions in the interest of the country, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said it was not just a financial package but a reform stimulus, a mindset overhaul and a thrust in governance. BJP president J P Nadda said with the announcement, Prime Minister Modi has laid the foundation of India leading the world in the 21st century and an 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) is the 'mantra' for driving this change. The Congress, however, termed the PM's address one that gave the country a headline, saying the nation was disappointed by his "failure" to address the woes of millions of migrants. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said the PM's announcement would lift the country from the atmosphere of despair. He said his mantra of self-reliance will inject new energy into the country. "The 21st century will be defined by India, Hon PM's message today has laid the foundation stone for implementing this. AatmanirbharBharat is our Mantra for the driving country towards this new change," Nadda tweeted. "PM has declared the world's largest holistic relief package. The Modi govt has given financial packages of Rs 20 lakh crore to support every section of the society. It is around 10% of the Indian GDP. Hon PM's proactive approach will build an 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'," he added. Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said the heartbreaking human tragedy of migrants walking back home needed compassion and care. "Dear PM, What you said today gives the country and the media a HEADLINE," he said on Twitter. "When the 'blank page' is filled with 'Heartfelt help of people', the nation and Congress party will respond. "India is deeply disappointed by your utter lack of empathy, sensitivity, and failure to address the woes of millions of migrant workers," he said in a series of tweets. His colleague, Manish Tewari, tweeted, "PMs speech can be summed up in one word - HEADLINE HUNTING. A NUMBER -20 LAKH CRORES. NO DETAILS." Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, however, welcomed the package. "The financial package announced by PM Modiji was much awaited. Better late than never. We welcome this," he tweeted. CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the prime minister has failed to address burning issues of migrants woes and hunger plaguing lakhs of Indians, even as he has not explained how the package will be used. "Thousands are walking home, hungry, and even dying. We were expecting some relief for them. Where is their free travel? Lakhs are going hungry, they need food. I am disappointed that these burning issues were not addressed," he added. Shah said the Modi government took decisions in the interest of the country and the relief package will help the poor, the farmers, and the middle class. "In every decision of the Modi government, the interest of the country and the countrymen has been at the centre. A special package of about Rs 20 lakh crores announced by the Modi government is reflective of this," he said. Sitharaman said, "We shall convert the pandemic challenge into an opportunity. 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' will integrate not isolate." "This shall not be just a financial package, but a reform stimulus, a mindset overhaul, and a thrust in governance," she tweeted. "Now, we can confidently engage with the world. We aim at overall transformation and not incremental changes," Sitharaman said. Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the package "is the biggest package India has ever seen". Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi tweeted, "If substantially, concretely, new proposal is 10 pc of GDP, it would be great. Both God and devil lie in details, not available. 10 pc should be additional, not counting old pre-corona schemes." Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said, "Hoping that the Rs 20 lakh crore package is not scripted with same pen which was used to make promises of giving everyone Rs 15 lakh, cleaning 'Maa Ganga', bringing back black money in 100 days and ending terrorism with demonetisation." Describing the prime minister's economic package as historic, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said Modi has shown a new path for the development of the country and turned despair into hope. In a big push to revive the COVID-hit economy, the prime minister announced massive new financial incentives on top of the previously announced packages for a combined stimulus of Rs 20 lakh crore, saying the coronavirus crisis has provided India an opportunity to become self-reliant and emerge as the best in the world.

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