No dissent in the Cabinet, says PM
PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday made it clear that his government will `stay the course` and complete its full five year term.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday returned after a six-day visit to the US where he participated in the UN General Assembly in New York and made a strong pitch for the reform of the Security Council.
Earlier onboard Air India One, Manmohan Singh said attempts were being made to "destabilise polity" and accused the Opposition of getting "prematurely restless" to "force" early elections.
He made it clear that his government will "stay the course" and complete its full five year term.
Addressing a press conference onboard special Air India aircraft while returning from his visit to New York via Frankurt, Singh asked the Opposition to be patient.
He said there was no dissension in his Cabinet in the context of the recent Finance Ministry note which suggested that P Chidambaram as the then Finance Minister had Singh admitted that there could be a problem of perception about his government and there was a need to
"...I suspect there are other forces which want to destabilise our polity," he said when asked about an impression that the UPA-II government had lost the goodwill
and momentum it had in its earlier `avataar`.
Singh said in the UPA-I, there were newcomers and innovators as evidenced by the new flagship programmes they had brought.
"Now as far as the approval of UPA-II is concerned, the
issues the government is accused of indulging in -- 2G or
something else -- the Opposition thinks, should have happened
before elections," Singh said.
"I think it has failed. They lost the elections and till
then we have had this assembly (elections). The Congress party
has been successful," the Prime Minister said.
"Therefore, I suspect there are other forces which want
to destabilise our country," Singh said.
Singh said it was simply not about this crisis and that
there were other issues that the government has to manage,
like controlling inflation and "nothing should be done to
weaken the fight".
Replying to a question about the Opposition, which
appeared reasonable in the UPA-I, the Prime Minister said the
Opposition is getting "prematurely restless".
"I have said this in Parliament that we have the mandate
of the people to govern for five years and the Opposition
should wait for two-and-a-half years.
"They have got some weak points of our government and
think that (they) can force elections. This is not the way.
This government has the mandate for five years. It will stay
its course and we will do so," he said.
The Prime Minister said "once this happens, and if we
look behind (after completing the term), we would have
To a question on "growing perception" that the ministers
were fighting among themselves in the context of the 2G note,
he said there were no differences among Ministers.
"I think the ministerial fight you are talking about (in
the media), I am not aware of such thing," he said.
"We are a cohesive government. We shall give cohesive
governance. There is no room for dissensions in my Cabinet,"
Having said this, the Prime Minister added that in the
Cabinet, there are always debates with "an open mind".
"The ministers have a different perspective. That does
not amount to lacking cohesiveness. It always helps in taking
decisions. There is nothing of the sort that the media has
been writing about for the last few days," he said about the
reported differences between Mukherjee and Chidambaram.
Asked whether he would give a clean chit to Chidambaram,
the Prime Minister said he enjoyed his full confidence.
He said he had read the Finance Ministry note (of March
25) which was being set out as a blueprint.
"All these matters are now before the courts. And it is
not appropriate for me to make a comment. These are also
property of the people (under RTI)," Singh said.
Replying to a question whether he was thinking of a
reshuffle, he said if one (reshuffle) has to be made, the
journalists would come to know.