Congress upset over PM Modi’s ‘political’ I-Day address

New Delhi, Aug 15 : Expressing displeasure at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'political' Independence Day address, Congress leader Rajeev Shukla on Monday said that it was extremely inappropriate on his part to target the opposition from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

"On this day you are supposed to carry the nation forward. And on this day also, you are giving a speech critical of the Congress. It is not appropriate. No Prime Minister has ever done thing like this," Shukla told ANI. Questioning the Prime Minister's claims, the Congress leader asked as to why is the government following the policies of the former UPA regime.

"Every scheme which they are implementing was created by the Congress. If you have to put allegations on us then why did you bring the schemes initiated by the Congress?...He should have come up with new schemes," he added.

Conveying his greetings to 125 crore Indians and the Indian community living overseas, Prime Minister Modi expressed hope that this energy guides the nation to scale newer heights of progress in the years to come.

He said though India faces lakhs of problems but it also has 125 crore brains that are capable of overcoming them.

During his address, Prime Minister Modi announced that government will bear up to one lakh rupees health care expenses annually for BPL families.

He said there will be 20 per cent increase in pension of freedom fighters. Prime Minister Modi said the middle class is more scared of income tax officials than the police, adding that his government will change this.

He said while it took six to eight months to get a passport, it now just takes a couple of weeks now even though around two crore people apply for it annually now compared to 40-50 lakh application earlier.

Prime Minister Modi said the government issued 1.45 crore passports in 2015-16. He added that people do not need any recommendation now to secure passports. Prime Minister Modi said that his government had taken decisions to help people make online bookings to visit hospitals.

Citing the example of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, he said similar changes had been brought about in 40 major hospitals across the country.

The Prime Minister said, when he took power in 2014, more than 18,000 villages in India did not have electricity.

He said, now 10,000 villages have already got electricity. He said 50,000 kilometres of transmission lines were being erected now as opposed to 30,000 to 35,000 km earlier to take electricity to the remote corners of the country.

Prime Minister Modi said only 14 crore LPG (cooking gas) connections were added after 60 years of freedom, but the present government has given four crore new connections in just 60 weeks.

He said the government has brought down consumer price growth from double digits under the last government.

Source: ANI