M A I N   N E W S

Show of unity as UPA-II releases report card
Congress-led coalition completes 9 years at Centre: Sonia stands by PM, hails his performance

KV Prasad/TNS

New Delhi, May 22
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has achieved an unprecedented distinction of leading two successive coalition governments at the Centre, today underscored four pillars through which his government sought to make a difference to the country’s fortunes.

Improved economy, a more inclusive growth process, better delivery of governance and improved relations with a changing and challenging world were the key achievements of the government that completed four years in office in its second innings, the PM told a select audience at the celebratory dinner he hosted for the UPA allies-current and erstwhile-and supporters at his 7, Race Course residence.

It was an evening of celebrations for the Congress-led UPA coalition.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi emphasised that the government and the party continued to work in tandem. The Prime Minister “is carrying his responsibilities with great dignity in the face of unrelenting hostility and abuse from the Opposition”, she said. “We respect him, and we all stand by him” was the message for all those present there, including allies. She said the UPA government, the Congress and the coalition partners worked “closely and unitedly all these years” and would continue to do so without getting either deterred or distracted by the “drummed-up noise being crated around us”.

In his address, the Prime Minister gave a macro view of the distance covered during the nine years of the UPA regime. He said the country’s average growth rate remained around 8 per cent during the period and it emerged as one the fastest growing economy. Further, with its concept of a welfare state and philosophy of an inclusive growth, the UPA government, he said, launched a series of programmes to ameliorate the lot of the poor.

Aware that his government has been buffeted by allegations of corruption, the Prime Minister dwelt upon the series of measures to usher in greater transparency in the way government procured and allocated its resources. He, however, acknowledged that weaknesses eroded faith and trust of the people which the country could not afford.

However, he said, the problem was not unique to India.

Acknowledging that a free press and an active civil society were engaged in checking the malaise, he cautioned that there could be situations leading to hasty judgements.

Referring to the 2G Spectrum and coal block allocations, he said the government had adopted a more transparent route of auction while allegations of impropriety were being investigated.

The UPA government was working to realise the dream of an economically resurgent and socially just India, he said.

Sonia Gandhi returned the compliment paid by the Prime Minister to her leadership by acknowledging his contribution in steering the country, especially when the world economy was facing turbulence.

Attacking the BJP for not fulfilling its constitutional role as the principal Opposition party and its “obstructive approach in Parliament”, she said such an attitude obstructed the passage of important Bills that would have touched the lives of millions of people.

She appealed to the BJP and other Opposition parties to collectively ensure the passage of the Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill etc.

These were not “partisan or government versus Opposition moves, but would benefit millions of Indians”, she said. 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |