‘Initiative to define the course of politics in New Year has shifted to BJP& NDA'

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L.K. Advani has predicted that 2012 is “pregnant with the certainty of big changes in national politics” and said the initiative to define the course of politics in the New Year clearly shifted to the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

In a statement on New Year, Mr. Advani said the inability of the government to push through the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha had rendered Manmohan Singh a lame duck Prime Minister.

The BJP leader described 2011 for the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) as annus horribilis (horrible year) as the Congress-led government found itself in the quagmire of one corruption scandal after another, each of which robbed it of its legitimacy to rule.

Mr. Advani maintained that mired in corruption scandals, the government exhibited ‘arrogance, ineptitude and deceit' in equal measure in dealing with the demand for a strong, independent and effective Lok Pal.

Targeting Dr. Singh, the senior BJP leader contended that since Independence not once did an incumbent government invite such ignominy upon itself because of the virtual evaporation of responsibility on the part of the Prime Minister.

“The fraud on democracy, which the nation witnessed on the night of December 29, was unprecedented. At a time when India expected honest transparent leadership from the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh chose conspiratorial silence and acquiescence.”

Praising the performance of his party colleagues — Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha respectively — in the just-concluded winter session of Parliament, Mr. Advani said 2011 saw the BJP's and NDA's Parliamentary work rise to the people's expectations from an effective Opposition alliance determined to challenge a scam-ridden and anti-poor government.

Pat for Gadkari

On the BJP under the leadership of Nitin Gadkari, the former Deputy Prime Minister said: “Our party became considerably stronger and more vibrant in 2011 and younger party functionaries have become active at all levels.”

Without elaborating, Mr. Advani said there had been some problems and disappointments which the party must correct resolutely in 2012.

He said 2011 would be remembered for a remarkable rise in the activism of India's non-political citizenry and maintained that the agitation led by Gandhian Anna Hazare for the enactment of a strong Lokpal struck a chord in large sections of the people.

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