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PM Evasive On Contentious Issues : BJP

BJP on Monday charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with evading questions on contentious issues at his press conference here to mark the completion of the first year of UPA-II in power and alleged that his
PTI May 24, 2010 20:37 IST
PTI

BJP on Monday charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with evading questions on contentious issues at his press conference here to mark the completion of the first year of UPA-II in power and alleged that his government had failed on all fronts.

'The Prime Minister decided not to answer questions but to deflect them during his press conference... He decided to talk but not to speak. Why have a press conference if you decide not to say anything," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

The senior leader said his party was coming out with its detailed comments on "achievements, if any" of the UPA-II dispensation.

"The first year after a general election is usually a year of enthusiasm. Ironically, UPA-II's first year has been a year of disappointment. It is a year devoid of any achievement; it is a year of misgovernance, incoherence, corruprion and chaos," Jaitley said.

The main opposition party held a well-attended public meeting in the capital against "bad governance" of UPA-II while Singh's press meet was on.

Jaitley told reporters that the Congress-led government had failed to control prices, effectively fight Maoist violence and cross-border terrorism, pursue an independent foreign policy towards Pakistan and the US, check corruption, control behaviour of his ministers as well as subversion of basic democratic institutions.

"The Prime Minister decided either to deflect or evade the questions. On inflation he maintained that it will come down by year-end. This nation cannot live on false hope...He cannot think of how to control inflation. Nation wanted to hear what steps he wishes to take and not to repeat false hope," Jaitley said.

BJP further alleged that there was a "conflict of opinion" within the government on how to fight Maoist violence. While the Prime Minister was describing it as the "biggest threat to India's sovereignty", his Home Minister was insisting combating it was the primary responsibility of states.

"Tell us your views and we will consider it as the government view," Jaitley said, addressing this to the PM, and added that this question had gone unanswered during the press conference.

The Leader of Opposition said Singh had given an incomplete answer to the question on Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru's hanging.

"Law was not doing its work in the last four years. It is a phoney, spurious logic to say the delay was due to the law. To say that this is first come, first serve is not correct. This is not cinema or a football ticket," he said.

On the issues of talks with Pakistan, there was a conflict within the government on whether the basis should be Vajpayee-Musharraf accord of 2004 or the recent Sharm-el-Sheikh agreement, Jaitley claimed.

"Is the Prime Minister convinced that land in Pakistan's control is not being used for terror acts against India?" he asked.

Jaitley said that the Prime Minister being honest was one thing but for him to accept, be aware and not say anything, to look the other way each time the 2G Spectrum issue arises is not fair.

On these issues, and topics like misuse of CBI, the Prime Minister did not address the questions, BJP said. PTI