Friday, March 23, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

After RSS, SJM targets PMO

New Delhi, March 22
The PMO today came under attack from yet another Sangh Parivar outfit, Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) , which alleged that it was manned by people who were “insensitive to the national interest”.

The outfit, known for its allergy to multinationals, also criticised the Balco disinvestment deal, saying that it was “undervalued”.

“The government is facing a crisis created by people like Mr N.K. Singh (Officer on Special Duty in the PMO) and Mr Montek Singh Ahluwalia (Member, Planning Commission), who do not have any mandate or accountability to the people,” the manch’s all-India organiser Muralidhar Rao said.

“When key policy-making positions are given to such people who are insensitive to national interest, such problems are bound to happen,” he said.

While Atal Behari Vajpayee was not involved in any corrupt practices, he had given governance to “bureaucratic leadership”, Mr Rao said.

“This government lacks a political direction. It is not led by a political leadership but by a bureaucratic leadership and we have always opposed that,” he said.

“It is not possible for people to believe in the sincerity and credibility of a government which has such people at the helm of affairs,” the manch leader said.

RSS chief K.S. Sudershan had last Sunday blamed “incompetent” officials in the PMO for the crisis faced by the government, which drew an instant rebuttal from South Block.

The SJM leader said per se his front was not against privatisation but regretted that only profit-making public sector units were being disinvested “not only by this regime but also previous governments.”

“Unlike the communists, we accept that the government has no role where the private sector can pay a role. It should not be into hotels and biscuit manufacturing,” Mr Rao said.

On the Balco deal, he said while the manch believed that there was no corruption involved, “we do not agree with the methodology of valuation. The deal is undervalued.”

“In any such project, the government will have to take into account factors such as employment and local obligations. There has to be a consensus, a general acceptance among all political parties on the disinvestment policy itself, besides transparency,” he said.

He regretted that disinvestment was being done “primarily to deal with fiscal deficit.”

Earlier, SJM activists staged a sit-in at Jantar Mantar near Parliament protesting against the lifting of quantitative restrictions (QRs) on imports and “mass dumping” of foreign goods. Workers of other parivar outfits including the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, participated in the protest.

SJM leaders asked the government to take immediate steps to safeguard the country’s economic freedom and sovereignty under the WTO and split or quit the body. They also asked the government to reimpose quantitative restrictions on agricultural and allied products, besides those made by the small-scale sector. PTI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
121 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |