President’s address disappointing,but will support food law: BJP

It has been four years since the government promised food guarantee.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:February 28, 2013 3:54 am

Charging the government of failing to honour commitments made in the President’s speech last year,BJP chief Rajnath Singh on Wednesday expressed disappointment over this year’s President’s speech but offered support to the proposed food guarantee law with a “safety mechanism” of “price guarantee” to farmers.

“It has been four years since the government promised food guarantee. This government lacks the willpower to do it. A small state like (BJP-ruled) Chhattisgarh has done it and the government should not hesitate to learn from it… But it also needs to guarantee remunerative prices to the farmers,” he said while speaking on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address in the Lok Sabha.

He attacked the government for allegedly “covering up” the plight of farmers through statistics and suggested that “piecemeal approach” will not be able to tackle agrarian crisis and demanded the government to convene a special session of Parliament to discuss agriculture and frame an “integrated action plan”. In this context,he sought the government to provide a status report on inter-linking of rivers and suggested a “tripartite water treaty” for Brahmaputra among India,China and Bangladesh.

With PM Manmohan Singh taking notes of his speech,the BJP president attacked the government for persistently high levels of inflation and large-scale corruption. On the external front,he suggested the PM to forge a consensus on Teesta River water agreement and other issues with Bangladesh and “scale down diplomatic” relations with Pakistan to register protest against “Pak-sponsored terrorism”. He demanded the government to get Sri Lanka to honour its promise of political devolution to meet the aspirations of ethnic Tamils there while asserted that BJP will form Telangana if the UPA failed to do so.

“The government has tried to set its political agenda for the polls through the President’s address,but it neither has any direction,vision,resolve or willpower to deal with the challenges facing the country. The government should not try to build castles in the air through the President’s address,” he said.

Congress’s P C Chacko defended the government’s record and sought to assert that there was no sign of policy paralysis. His party colleague Girija Vyas claimed that “our work will be remembered as an example in national history”.

However,SP and BSP,both of which are extending outside support to the UPA,sounded critical of the government’s record with Mulayam Singh Yadav expressing disappointment at the indifference of government towards “terrorism” and “trade union strike”. He demanded the government implement recommendations of the Sachar Committee and Ranganath Mishra Commission and batted for reservation for Muslims. He even took a dig at the BJP. “They need to correct the training being imparted at their morning sessions,” Mulayam said in an indirect reference towards RSS shakhas.

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