As the Congress-led UPA Government was making preparations on Wednesday to celebrate its ninth anniversary in office -- and the fourth of the UPA-II -- the Opposition BJP tore into it saying there was no reason for celebrations as the government had been a failure on every conceivable front.
Charging that the second innings of the Congress-led coalition had witnessed “mind-boggling scams” that hit the common man the hardest, the BJP said there was no leadership in the present government and the constant one-upmanship between the government and Congress had been the former’s bane.
At a press conference here, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj and her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley brought out a chargesheet on issues ranging from leadership, economy, corruption, institutions, national security, neighbourhood to atrocities against women.
“Coalitions need special leadership. In the UPA, Dr Manmohan Singh might be the Prime Minister, but he is neither the leader of the party nor of the country. In the present government, party leaders look towards Congress president Sonia Gandhi for addressing their problems. Such a split leadership is the biggest failure of the UPA. The constant one-upmanship between the party and the government has been their bane,” said Swaraj.
Concurring with her, Jaitley said the present government had devalued the Prime Minister’s post.
He added that Singh’s Cabinet colleagues looked at the UPA chairperson for policy directives, and “somewhere else” for future leadership.
Swaraj reminded the UPA that the BJP-led NDA had handed over to it a “booming economy” when they demitted office in 2004.
Jaitley charged that the government had continuously misused the CBI and it is only thus that the UPA Government had ensured the government’s longevity by securing support from parties such as the SP and BSP.
The party leaders said the UPA Government has scant regard for institutions like the CVC, CAG, PAC and the JPC.
The UPA Government’s handling of foreign policy also came in for severe criticism from the main opposition party. The two leaders said it was only during the present government’s tenure that even a country such as Maldives defied India.
Asked who its prime ministerial candidate would be, Swaraj repeated that the decision would be taken by the Parliamentary Board at an appropriate time. She said the name of L K Advani was very much in the fray.