M A I N   N E W S

Mend ways, Left tells govt 
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 20
The Congress-led UPA government today came under twin attack in Parliament during the debate on President’s Address with the Left giving a veiled threat to the UPA government on the Iran issue and the BJP criticising ruling combine’s economic policies and targeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on the power equation within the coalition.

Angry over the coalition’s stand on Iran and other issues, the CPM, which provides the crucial outside support to the Congress-led UPA government, warned that its support “should not be taken for granted”.

Describing the President’s Address as “directionless”, the BJP charged the government with losing control over economy, burdening the common man and promoting minorityism to garner votes. The Saffron party also took the opportunity to target the Prime Minister and Ms Gandhi on the power equation within the Congress-led coalition.

Participating in the debate on the motion in Lok Sabha, CPM leader Basudeb Acharia gave a veiled threat to the government saying his party’s support “should not be taken for granted.”

“We supported this government so that the policy followed by the earlier NDA government should be changed... but our support should not be taken for granted,” the CPM leader said.

On the Iran vote issue, Mr Acharia questioned whether India’s national interest is protected by supporting the US stand on Iran.

“Is it not contrary to the national common minimum programme (NCMP),” he said, asking whether India was following an independent foreign policy.

Asserting that Prime Minister was not in control of governance, Deputy Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha V.K. Malhotra said “despite Dr Singh’s announcement that there was no dearth of foodgrain stock in the country, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar announced import of five lakh tonnes of wheat to maintain stocks.”

“The Prime Minister maintains that he did not know that there was instruction from his government to unfreeze the bank accounts of Bofors Scam accused Ottavio Quattrocchi,” Mr Malhotra said.

Terming Dr Singh as a “clean chit PM”, Mr Malhotra said if Volcker report’s charges against K. Natwar Singh and the Congress Party were wrong, why was the enquiry against the former External Affairs Minister still continuing.

In the Rajya Sabha, BJP president Rajnath Singh termed the President’s Address as directionless which had nothing concrete for “Aam Aadmi”.


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