M A I N   N E W S

Chidambaram takes potshot at BJP
Says it won’t come to power for next 10 yrs
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 20
Home Minister P Chidambaram today told the BJP that it would have to wait for at least a decade to come to power. “For the next 10 years, the Congress or a government led by it will remain in power in Delhi,” Chidambaram said while speaking at the party's plenary session in support of the economic resolution.

“I want to tell the BJP ‘aapka number nahin aayega’ (your turn will not come) for the next decade or even after that,” the Home Minister said, maintaining that the BJP was “envious of the Congress” because of its “electability and re-electability” and its record of delivering growth.

Comparing the BJP-led NDA government’s performance with that of the UPA-I and UPA-II, Chidambaram said while the average growth rate during the entire NDA rule was 5.8 per cent, “ours is a mirror image -- at 8.5 per cent during UPA-I”. The UPA-II government’s first year experienced a 7.4 per cent growth rate and the second year is poised to achieve 9 per cent, he added.

Talking about states ruled by non-Congress parties, he said the governments there could not give the excuse of not having the funds to implement major Central schemes. The cash balance of states, as late as two days ago, stood at Rs 95,398 crore.

“If any state tells you that they don’t have money, I will tell you, don’t believe that government,” he said, adding that the Central devolution to states would touch the Rs 3 lakh crore mark in the current financial year.

Maintaining that the food security Bill was in the advanced stage of consideration, he said the government in the coming days should also ensure implementation of measures for development of tribals and ensure social security, universal employment and the right to identity.

2G Scam
BJP using ‘rude language’ against PM, says Sibal

The Congress on Monday attacked the BJP for using “intemperate language” against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his comments that he was ready to depose before the PAC and said the NDA should first “look inwards” at its own record on corruption.

“We are really surprised at the intemperate response of the BJP to the very open statement of the Prime Minister that in the event the PAC desires for him personally to appear, even though there is no precedent in Parliamentary history for that to happen,” Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters here.

He was responding to BJP leader Arun Jaitley’s comments that breaking of silence by the PM on the 2G Spectrum scam was welcome but he cannot choose the forum of his "inquiry". — TNS/PTI





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