Singh lists achievements; Sonia backs PM, slams BJP
Sonia blames Oppn for stalling key Bills Economic situation is showing signs of turning around Anita Saluja New Delhi: The Congress-led UPA...
- Sonia blames Oppn for stalling key Bills
- Economic situation is showing signs of turning around
Anita SalujaNew Delhi: The Congress-led UPA government celebrated its ninth anniversary in the backdrop of a string of scams that marred the image of Manmohan Singh government and forced a handful of Cabinet ministers to put in their papers, namely A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran, Virbhadra Singh, Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.
Apart from the strength of the Council of Ministers and economic indicators that declined during the fourth year of the UPA-II, the number of its Allies has also come down, with DMK and the Trinamool Congress deserting the Congress at the fag-end of its tenure.
The present Allies, especially those extending outside support, are also peeved and are giving enough indications to desert the sinking ship of the UPA, with Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and BSP leader Mayawati not attending the dinner hosted by the Prime Minister. UPA-II Report Card was presented to the people by the Prime Minister that listed out the achievements of the government in the four years of its tenure.
Unfazed by mounting attack from the Opposition, Congress president Sonia Gandhi stated that indeed it was the appropriate moment for them to celebrate and recount what they had sought to do in the past nine years.A She listed out all the flagship programmes of the government and at the same time blamed the Opposition for stalling the Budget Session of parliament and not letting them pass the key legislations like Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Bill.
Hitting out at the Opposition, the Congress president said that there had been a calculated and deliberate attempt to falsify and spread innuendoes and untruths. She said that they would confront the criticism, which was aimed to confuse and demoralise the people. She claimed that the government was not disturbed by drummed up noises around them.
"The people of our country will recognise the achievement that we have accomplished," she remarked, while wanting to know, "Can anyone question the magnitude of changes, we have been able to bring about?" Speaking informally to mediapersons at the dinner, Sonia Gandhi blamed them for the negative publicity, while Manmohan Singh was nonchalant in his approach. "Sitaron ke aage jahan aur bhi hain," (There are worlds to conquer beyond the galaxies)," he remarked.
Rahul Gandhi, present on the dais along with the Allies and Cabinet ministers, stated that Manmohan Singh would continue as Prime Minister till 2014. Sounding the poll bugle, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was praised by the Congress president during her speech, stated that next year, the UPA government would seek "renewed mandate" from the people based on the achievements during their tenure.
The Prime Minister claimed that the UPA government had taken the country forward during the nine years of the UPA with the inclusive growth, improved performance of the economy, better delivery system of the welfare schemes and with improved relations with the changing world. "We can legitimately claim and take pride that the UPA government has taken the country forward," he remarked.
Taking on the critics, he stated that the UPA government has come a long way in the field of giving essential services to the people that include health, development and skill development. "In many of these areas, since the glass was almost empty when we started, it will take some time before it is really full. The important point is that it is filling," he stated.
Talking about corruption, the Prime Minister said that problems arose in the way scarce resources such as spectrum and mining blocks were allocated in the past. A He said that the past allocations were being dealt with, as they should be, under the law of the land. He said the allegations of impropriety were being investigated and cases of wrongdoing will be punished.
The root cause of the problem, he felt, which was the perceived non-transparency in the manner of allocation, had been addressed and these problems would not arise in the future.