PM targets BJP,cites UPA growth rate

Six years of NDA rule were no match for UPA regime’s nine years in terms of governance,says PM.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 6, 2013 9:32:13 pm

In a rare show of aggression,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday targeted the Opposition,saying the BJP would once again fail to wrest power at the Centre next year because the six years of NDA rule were no match for the UPA regime’s nine years in terms of governance.

Asserting that the country would ride out the current economic slowdown and the economy would attain an 8 per cent growth rate,Singh criticised the BJP for using “choicest abuses” against the Congress leadership at its national council meet on Sunday. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had described the Congress as “termites” and Singh as a “night watchman” at the meeting.

“The Shining India campaign led to disastrous results. In 2009,they (BJP) fielded the ‘Iron Man’ against the lamb that Manmohan Singh is,and we know what the result was,” said the PM in his vote of thanks in the Lok Sabha,concluding the reply to the presidential address to Parliament.

With the Opposition,including BJP president Rajnath Singh,criticising several government policies mentioned in the President’s address,the PM today drew parallels between the six years of NDA rule and the nine years of the UPA on key economic indicators. “What has been achieved by this government cannot be belittled as Rajnath Singh sought to do. The best I can do is to compare nine years of UPA with six years of NDA,people can compare and decide what has been done,” he said.

In response,Rajnath Singh described the PM’s combative posture as the “final burst of a dying flame”.

The PM said the average growth rate in the last nine years has been 7.9 per cent,while during the NDA tenure it was no more than 6 per cent. Similarly,agriculture growth during the UPA rule was 3.5 per cent,as compared to the NDA’s 2.9 per cent per year,he said.

On Lanka,an issue raised by key ally DMK on Wednesday,the PM said India’s final position at the United Nations would depend on the final text of the draft. “Members have raised the issue of human rights violations in Sri Lanka — government takes the sentiment very seriously. We have consistently called upon the government of Sri Lanka to fulfill public commitment for the implementation of the 13th amendment,” he said.

On India’s other neighbours,he said there isn’t any solid evidence to suggest that Pakistan has dismantled its terror infrastructure. He also said New Delhi hopes that elections will be held in Maldives by September. “India will support all efforts to ensure free,fair and credible presidential elections,” he said.

Responding to the issue of safety of women,Singh said the government would fast-track any legislative measures that the House agrees upon. “The entire House needs to speak in one voice on this,” he said.

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