Targeting the Narendra Modi government over issues ranging from demonetisation to unrest in Kashmir, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday said the year 2016 has been one of "depression, recession, regression and suppression".

Speaking on the motion of thanks on President's address, Azad said the government has failed and the country was going downward under the present regime.

Azad, who hails from Jammu and Kashmir, started on an emotional note over the situation in the Valley in the wake of militant commander Burhan Wani's death in an encounter in July last year, and the violence that ensued.

"The Prime Minister spoke of Kashmiriyat, Insaniyat and Jamhooriyat, but all these ideals died a painful death on the streets of Kashmir this year. Thousands of people have been injured, hundreds blinded through pallet guns during the violence and the government failed to restore order," he said.

Quoting figures, he pointed out that a large number of ceasefire violations occurred during this government's rule and the highest number of security personnel were killed in a year in 2016.

"The government has failed to stop infiltration in Jammu and Kashmir and to save life of our soldiers there.

"Jammu and Kashmir is considered head of the country and if the head cannot be protected how the body could be maintained," he asked.

Azad also criticised the government for its policy of demonetisation.

He said what is being claimed as a big success against corruption was in fact leading to corruption.

"During demonetisation, people would only get Rs 4,000 from the bank but others who were using back door were being given crores of rupees," he said citing news reports.

He said in what is being claimed as a big achievement, over 120 people died in queues to get their own money.

"Note ban came as a ghost to the public,' he said.

Attacking the budget 2017-18, he said: "There is nothing about employment in the budget. Youth need jobs. The country cannot progress unless job opportunities are created."