NEW DELHI, Feb 29 - The Opposition today dubbed as �mere rhetoric� projection of the Budget as pro-poor and said the Government will not be able to �fool� farmers with �hollow promises�.
Predictably, BJP hailed the Budget, calling its measures for rural India �historic�.
In a sharp attack on the Government, the Congress said it has �failed to create an immediate stimulus� to address the economic challenges, including employment generation with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh holding that it lacked any �big idea�.
Asserting that the Budget was short of both �vision and conviction�, party vice president Rahul Gandhi said a list of new promises have been made without any account of the �failure of tall promises made in the last two Budgets�.
�Modiji spent the first two years mocking the Congress party�s focus on farmers, MNREGA, rural development and social spending. Now mere rhetoric, without vision or action, will fool neither farmers nor the poor of this country,� Gandhi tweeted.
He, however, thanked Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for accepting his recommendation on removing import duty on Braille paper, which will help the visually impaired.
Criticising the Budget, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said it was full of �hollow promises� and will burden the commoners who will feel the pinch of hike in indirect tax.
�As with the previous two Budgets, this Budget of the Modi Government is again full of hollow promises and slogans. The numbers just don�t add up.
�FM says the Budget is about fulfilling �desires and dreams� but it has no vision. The dead certainty from it is of a shrinking economy,� Yechury said in a series of tweets.
On his part, BJP chief Amit Shah praised the Budget, saying its focus on rural India and farmers, besides other measures were �historic�. Shah asserted that this is the first Budget since Independence that has focused so much on �villages, farmers and poor�.
�The thrust of the Budget is towards strengthening rural and agriculture sectors and boosting employment generation.... There is a lot of focus on agriculture. There is a proposal to double farmers� income by 2022,� Shah told reporters.
BJD leader Baijayant Panda termed the Union Budget as a �big step� from a macro-economic perspective for its large allocation to infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and steps to cut red tape to ensure ease of doing business.
He also lauded the Union Finance Minister for not resorting to a �populist� Budget despite polls being around the corner in many States. � PTI