Senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Thursday blamed the ills plaguing the economy on the lack of leadership qualities in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had to follow dictates under the dual power-sharing system in the UPA.
Addressing the valedictory function of the two-day annual general meeting of the CII here, Mr. Jaitley said the Prime Minister was a victim of the twin-power centre system in the Congress and hence unable to implement the decisions needed to address the economy’s problems. “The direction in which we are moving is genuinely worrying,” he said.
Mr. Jaitley was apparently reacting to the Congress’ stand supporting the power structure and favouring its continuance.
The elected head should have the last word in making any decision or intervention and he should not follow anyone else’s dictates, Mr. Jaitley said in an oblique attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi. The UPA was controlled by the Congress rather than the government, he alleged.
Leadership should have the authority to overrule others and display a big heart to accommodate the Opposition and share power with the States within the ambit of the present democratic set-up.
The inability to implement and enforce decisions had rendered the government weak, he said and cited how the power sector was on the verge of turning sick, half the telecom industry had been discredited and how the road sector was brought to nought.
Mr. Jaitley said that with little money in its pockets the government had simply changed its spending agenda with the purpose of winning the 2014 elections and since that did not yield the desired results, it was using coercive methods to garner the support of its allies.
He accused the government of using the CBI to hound its vulnerable allies into submission, pointing to the admission of this fact by SP chief Mulayam Singh. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not vulnerable as she was not in the CBI dragnet, he pointed out.
But two UPA allies (SP and DMK) were vulnerable and could derail the government in their own way, he said but warned that such coercion and misuse of institutions disturbed the consensus that could be evolved on various issues.
The credibility of the government had come in serious doubt, he said, stressing that the government found itself handicapped to implement even the recommendations of the select committee of Parliament on the CBI.