Follow Us:

PM out of ideas for reviving economy: Jaitley

Statesman News Service |

press trust of india
NEW DELHI/BANGALORE, 31 AUG: A day after their verbal jousting in the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition, Mr Arun Jaitley today said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s attitude was one of “anger” and “pessimism” and this shows he has “run out of ideas” for reviving the country’s economy.
Referring to the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday in the Upper House on the state of the economy and the subsequent debate, Mr Jaitley said: “Instead of telling us about the roadmap to improve the economy, he was angry and pessimistic.” Mr Jaitley was speaking at a conclave of the BJP’s Legal and Legislative Cell here.
In a rare combative mood, Mr Singh had said yesterday that frequent disruptions by the Opposition was responsible for the government not being able to pass important legislations.
He had asked whether there is any other Parliament where the Opposition attacks the Prime Minister and does not even allow him to introduce his council of ministers.
Mr Jaitley had hit back at the government on corruption.
“Till yesterday he (PM) had been maintaining a silence. To be silent for a long time is not good. Silence is golden only when you cannot think of an answer,” Mr Jaitley said at the BJP programme, adding, “It is extremely dangerous when the head of the country becomes cynical, pessimistic and cannot suggest a roadmap.”
Referring to his exchange of words with the Prime Minister, Mr Jaitley said Mr Singh’s attitude reminded him of the habit of lawyers of banging the desk “when they cannot bang the facts or bang the law as they are weak on both”.
Mr Jaitley also lambasted the JD-U government in Bihar for playing votebank politics on terrorism and said in the case of IM founder Yasin Bhatkal’s arrest, the state government refused to cooperate “because its votebank will be affected”.
“State governments will also have to think of their responsibility in the fight against terrorism. Who lives if India dies?” Mr Jaitley said.
Commending the security agencies, he said all facts about Bhatkal’s arrest at the Raxaul-Nepal border should come out to expose who performed his duty and who did not.
The JD-U, which was an NDA ally for 17 years, broke off from the alliance after the elevation of Mr Narendra Modi as BJP Election Campaign Committee Chief fearing it will lose the minority votes. “In the Batla House encounter case, for five years we had been hearing that it was a false encounter. Such a stand is taken by political parties for votebank politics,” he said.
The BJP leader charged that Pota was repealed with this aim in mind. The BJP, he maintained, has a firm belief in protecting the nation and to be united in all matters of national security.
The fight against terror has to be fought by rising above caste and religion, he said.
Mr Jaitley insisted that there is a strong anti-incumbency and claimed that corruption and slowdown in the economy will be prominent issues in the next general elections. "This government seems to have lost control over the economy and has completely failed to manage it,” he said.
Noting that due to the falling Rupee our imports-including petroleum, edible oil, coal and mobiles-will become costlier, he said, “You are importing inflation into the country.” Referring to the GDP figures announced yesterday, Mr Jaitley said the fall in growth rate is a cause for concern and will impact employment. “For long the world has been warning us that there is a policy paralysis but the government is busy in trying to cultivate its votebank. But today, they neither have the votebank nor a strong economy,” he said.
Mr Jaitley maintained that instead of prices going down as buying capacity of the people is falling, there is high inflation. “At times, one fears that we are moving towards stagflation,” he said.
BJP to raise Coalgate, Vadra issues in Parliament
BJP would raise the issues of Coalgate and alleged land scam involving Robert Vadra in a “big way” during the extended Monsoon Parliamentary Session, party General Secretary, Mr Ananth Kumar said today.
The BJP would demand a statement from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, instead of Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, in Parliament on “coalgate” since the Supreme Court has taken serious cognisance of the missing files and feels it is a ploy to cover up the crime, Kumar said.