Government hit by integrity, leadership deficit: BJP

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday accused the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of integrity, leadership and competence deficit and said if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh did not address challenges before his government, it will end up being a mere footnote in history.

Participating in the debate on motion of thanks to the President’s address in the Rajya Sabha, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said it was for the prime minister to choose if he wanted his government to be judged by the number of years he headed it or by the bold actions it took.

“If the prime minister does not get the correct answer, such governments become footnotes in history,” Jaitley said.

Expressing his disappointment with the President’s address prepared by the government, Jaitley, who is Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said India never had it so bad in terms of governance.

Questioning the government’s ability, he said it had not been able to control prices and provide the country a decision oriented and honest governance and added that the home minister had confessed in Davos that there is a governance deficit.

He said there was a trust deficit not only between the nation and the government but also between the leadership of the Congress party and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Referring to the prime minister’s interaction with TV news editors on questions related to former telecommunications minister A. Raja in the 2G spectrum controversy, Jaitley said Manmohan Singh sought to distance himself from the rot of corruption which has stemmed in his government.

He said the prime minister failed to answer why he was silent for three years, why he lacked the courage and the capacity to prevent the national plunder and why was the principle of collective responsibility being abandoned.

Jaitley, who spoke for more than an hour, said the country had seen double digit inflation in the Wholesale Price Index for almost three years.

He said the government had failed to create a friendly environment for investment and several ecology clearances are turning into a licence issue.

Terming the UPA-II government as amongst the most dishonest governments in the history, he said the telecom sector was one of the big success stories of the post liberalization era but had for some reasons been “out-sourced” to the DMK.

He also referred to allegations of corruption surrounding Commonwealth Games and the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.

Pointing to the S-band spectrum allocation to Devas Corporation, he said it relates to a department which falls directly under the prime minister.

“Merely by cancelling the deal, you cannot wipe out the criminality under the Prevention of Corruption Act,” he said.

He said the government lacked “proactive” initiative in finding black money and Indian money stashed in foreign banks.

Jaitley said the issue of Jammu and Kashmir impinges on the country’s sovereignty and the government should not take any step that dilutes the state’s relationship with the union.

Referring to the kidnapping of district officials in Orissa, Jaitley said the whole country needs to be together to tackle the problem of Maoist violence.

Jaitley took a dig at Chidambaram over the government’s policy concerning Left-wing ultras, saying he had donned the mantle of general but abandoned the battlefield following criticism by his own party members and allies.

He said the demand for a separate state of Telangana was “legitimate” and called upon the government to complete the consultation process early and move forward.

He alleged the government had misused the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) even to muster numbers in parliament and criticized the government for appointment of P.J. Thomas as Chief Vigilance Commissioner. “How can the country have CVC where there is a taint of corruption case,” he said.

He said that institution of structured political parties was gradually being replaced by parties controlled by family dynasty and said “India cannot be a dynastic democracy”.

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