That the UPA stakes were really low was evident from the fact that an unattached Amar Singh was seen sitting at the power-table, breaking bread with the Prime Minister, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi on the ninth and last anniversary of the UPA, before the next elections.
But prior to that, while releasing the ‘report to the people’ the PM said, “The UPA government has taken the country forward… The economy did slow down in 2012-13, but it is temporary. The economic situation is turning around. Fiscal deficit is being brought under control. Inflation is being brought down, rural per capital income and consumption has increased… We’re targeting 12 per cent agricultural growth in 12th Plan’’ and that is basis on which the Food Security Bill is being brought in.
Picking up the threads from the PM, Gandhi first tore into the opposition, mainly BJP, for adopting “obstructionist’’ methods to stall legislation and debate in Parliament and then ended making a fervent appeal. Her desperation was apparent as she said, “Let us come together and collectively ensure the passage of the food security, land acquisition bills and other important bills. These are not partisan issues. It is not a question of the government versus the opposition. These bills affect the lives and livelihood of millions, whom we are committed to represent and benefit.’’
Almost to persuade the opposition that she and her party will not run away with the credit of passing these to “landmark’’ bills, Gandhi said, that the “Aap ka paisa, aap ke Haath’’, the Direct Cash Transfer scheme, was what they would put their energy behind.
On the all-consuming question of corruption, the taint of which seems to be submerging the UPA ship, the PM said, “Much is made of the problems that arose with the way scarce resources such as spectrum and mining blocks were allocated in the past and there have been allegations of deliberate malfeasance. We have introduced more transparent system for the future, i.e. auctions rather than relying on administrative allocations.’’ So, no more first-come-first-serve policy.
As for the “allegations of impropriety’’, of the kind displayed by the likes of Ashwani Kumar and Pawan Kumar Bansal, they are “being investigated’’ and “cases of wrong doing will be punished.’’