President Droupadi Murmu’s speech to the joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday sparked divisions between the Opposition and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). While the NDA and BJP leaders praised the address, the opposition leaders criticised it, saying, “There was nothing new in the address.”

Here’s how Opposition leaders reacted to President’s address

AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi said there was no mention of minorities, unemployment or the NEET exam row in the President’s address. “There was nothing new in the address. It was like an old wine in a new bottle,” he said. Owaisi added, “There are paper leaks everywhere. They are playing with the lives of 25 lakh youth and their families.”

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor objected to the President mentioning the 1975 Emergency in her speech. “There was no logic of talking about Emergency in the address after 49 years.”

Shashi Tharoor said Murmu should have spoken about today’s issues. “We did not hear anything about the NEET exam or unemployment. The word Manipur did not come out from President Murmu or PM Modi. Issues like the India-China border should have been taken up in the address,” he said.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav reacted to the President’s joint address to both Houses of Parliament, saying that it is a tradition and the speech, in reality, represents the government’s views. “This is the tradition, and it happens every time. We listen to the President. That is actually the speech of the Government,” Akhilesh Yadav was quoted by ANI.

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut said this is no longer a Presidential address. “This has been the Modi address since 10 years,” he said. “Even after 50 years, they are talking about an Emergency, there has been an Emergency in this country for 10 years, remove that,” Raut said.

NDA leaders defend President’s speech

BJP MP Trivendra Singh Rawat attacked the Opposition, saying its leaders are “saying the old things that they had mugged up.” He said the President’s Address clearly reflects the government’s future plans—the blueprint and roadmap of the country’s development.

LJP (Ram Vilas) MP Shambhavi Choudhary said the Opposition’s work is to say something or the other all the time. “I believe that the President told us in a concise manner what the NDA government has done for the country and what they want to do for the country in future. She gave information about every scheme, first-time MPs were able to learn a lot from her speeches,” she added.

President Droupadi Murmu addressed a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday, her first address after the constitution of the 18th Lok Sabha.