New Delhi: Hitting out at the BJP in Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the main Opposition had used abusive language against UPA leadership but he would not respond in the same manner, referring to Gujarat Chief Minister’s attack on the government at the Centre and the Congress party a few days back.
Taking a dig at the Bhartiya Janata Party, the PM said, "I do not wish to reply in the same language. Jo garajte hai, woh baraste nahi. (Clouds that thunder seldom rain). We are not seeing this arrogance of the BJP for the first time. Their shining India campaign was a disaster in 2004 General Elections." “The NDA may be defeated again if they continue with their arrogance," he added.
He also took a potshot at senior BJP leader LK Advani saying that the party had fielded the ‘Iron Man’ in 2009 and lost. Advani was BJP's PM candidate in 2009 General Elections.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in a recently concluded BJP national conclave in Delhi had made a scathing attack on the Congress party, the Gandhi family and Manmohan Singh. He had called Congress termites and the PM a night watchman. He had also said that the Congress had sacrificed the interest of the nation for the sake of one family.
Winding up the discussion on the motion of thanks on the President's address, Singh spoke at length on various issues including economy, keeping India's options open on the US resolution against Sri Lankan at the UNHCR vote, ties with Pakistan and the situation in Maldives.
On the issue of violence against women the PM appealed to all members of Parliament cutting across party lines to make sure that justice is done to fifty percent of India's population. “We have adopted a series of measures so that corrective action can be taken. We need to collectively work towards this cause. Want consensus on laws to deal with crime against women.”
Singh gave a comparative analysis of the performance of
his government and previous NDA to highlight that the country has progressed much better under UPA in all sectors, like agriculture and manufacturing.
On the issue of economic growth PM said it was the aim of the government to achieve an average GDP growth of 8 percent during the 12th Plan.
He said that the government’s record is clear as “we have delivered an average growth rate of 7.9 percent since taking office in 2009.”
The PM further said that while “our aim is to achieve an average GDP growth of 8 percent during the 12th Plan, the focus will continue to remain on inclusive growth.”
Defending government’s policies, Singh said, “Our policies led to a growth of 6.8 percent per year in real agricultural wages in the 11th Plan compared with only 1.1 percent in the previous decade.”
"Even if the comparison is limited to the six years of the NDA government, the growth was only six percent," the PM said. "This is the highest growth rate ever achieved by any government over its tenure," he added.
"Inequality is not increasing. Even BIMARU states have also done much better in UPA period than previous period," Singh said, adding that the country has fared much better in areas of higher education, skill development and environment protection.
First Published: Wednesday, March 06, 2013, 18:31