The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday termed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's first year in office as a year of disappointment, corruption and misuse of government machinery.
At a “black day'' rally, organised by BJP's Delhi unit at Jantar Mantar, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, asked “what is there to celebrate” on the completion of one year in office by the government.
She said the year gone by was one of betrayal of the common man, who suffered due to price rise, widespread corruption as seen in the 2G scam and of large-scale killings by the naxals.
“We are here to observe a black day. This government has been all about black deeds. So we need to observe the year gone by as a black year. People have been faced with price rise after the polls. The prices of pulses, wheat flour, rice and oil all shot up within weeks of the elections taking place. This was betrayal of the common man by the government,” she said.
Ms. Swaraj also accused the UPA of being ruthless in its policies. “During the discussion on Budget, we demanded that prices be brought down. But the very next day, diesel and petrol prices were increased. The Delhi government later added fuel to the fire by increasing VAT rates and CNG prices.”
Describing the UPA as “Unlimited Problems Alliance,” she said: “All through this year, either the parties supporting it from outside, the alliance partners or the Congress leaders themselves have been giving the alliance a tough time.”
Noting that the Nationalist Congress Party, the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam and the Trinamool Congress often threatened to withdraw support, she said that even the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party took a strong stand on the Women's Reservation Bill. At other times, it was Congress leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyar and [Congress general-secretary] Digvijay Singh who criticised [Union Home Minister] P. Chidambaram, or Ministers like [former Minister of State for External Affairs] Shashi Tharoor who gave the government a torrid time.
“There is one Minister, who has not attended either the Rajya Sabha or the Lok Sabha even once and neither has he been attending Cabinet meetings,” she said, adding that there were Ministers in the government who made announcements, like the one pertaining to end of Board examinations, only to withdraw them later.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, termed the UPA-II's first year as “a year of disappointment” and alleged that poor governance was responsible for the price rise in the country. “World over, the prices were in control. But here the government did not take any step to curb the rise.”
He said it was because rats were eating grains stored in warehouses and large quantities of grains were allowed to rot there that the prices went up between 17 and 19 per cent.
Accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of lacking imagination on how to bring down prices, Mr. Jaitley said that when even today Dr. Singh was asked how the prices would come down, he only said he was hopeful they would. “But we have been living with this hope for the past one year and nothing has come of it,” Mr. Jaitley said.
He also accused the UPA of failing to check Maoist violence. The “only achievement” has been its success in misusing government agencies for running the regime for a year. “It misused the CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] for prevailing over the alliance partners — who are involved in some case or the other — to bail out the government.”