‘Image of the country had a taken a beating’

BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Saturday said the recent elections had demolished the myth that mere announcement of populist schemes would win votes.

Addressing the 86th annual general meeting of FICCI, Mr. Jaitley said no party could afford to beat anti-incumbency factor without the ability to enforce its decisions and schemes.

He said he was happy not just because his party had fared well but because they had governed well to defy anti-incumbency. Bad governance would make you pay and merely dangling poverty alleviation schemes to purchase votes were not sufficient, he pointed out.

Analysing the defeat of the Congress, Mr. Jaitley said the country could not afford to have a non-political person as its Prime Minister who did not have the last word.

Stressing that the Prime Minister had to be the natural leader of the party and government, Mr. Jaitley argued that the Prime Minister could not entertain the feeling that he was not being allowed to deliver and was helpless.

He said the image of the country had a taken a beating also because the Prime Minister never stepped in to check policy paralysis and corruption unlike in the NDA era when Atal Bihari Vajpayee cancelled the petrol pump allocations.

Instead of accepting the verdict, the Congress continued to be arrogant little caring to build cordial relations with political parties. He pointed out the kind of relations Narasimha Rao had during his tenure with Mr. Vajpayee.

He ridiculed the “phoney” report submitted by the JPC on the 2G scam and the rejection of the Adarsh Commission of Enquiry report by the Maharashtra government and said these affected the investment climate. He feared the coming months would be more adverse with the government losing its will to rule.

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