UPA rule is akin to Nero’s: Jaitley

K. Balchand
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It’s time for Congress to introspect, says BJP leader

Taking on UPA:BJP leader Arun Jaitley— PHOTO: PTI/ TV GRAB
Taking on UPA:BJP leader Arun Jaitley— PHOTO: PTI/ TV GRAB

Accusing the Manmohan Singh government of “turning an enthusiastic nation into a cynical one” during its nine-year rule, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley has said it is time for the Congress to introspect.

Opposing the motion of thanks to the President’s Address to Parliament initiated by Renuka Chaudhary (Congress), the senior BJP leader said that instead of leaving its footprints and changing the destiny of the country, the UPA had a dismal record to show in office as it entered the last year of its present term. “The UPA rule is akin to that of Nero,” he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh heard Mr. Jaitley’s onslaught in silence, taking notes. The Congress benches too lent their ears.

Despite acquiring a GDP growth rate of 8.4% and sound economic fundamentals from the NDA, Mr. Jaitley alleged that the country was no longer on the global map with the threat of “I” sipping out of BRICS. “There is an environment of cynicism, a distrust of governance, a policy paralysis and a yearning for change.”

Wondering how the Prime Minister would like to be judged by history, Mr. Jaitley regretted that the UPA government’s direction was blurred, not knowing which way to go; growth had slowed down and the government was involved in scams. “The last impression that you will give to history is probably this. You have very few days to erase this impression.”

Comparing the present situation to the one prevailing during the time of Nero in Rome over two millennia ago, Mr. Jaitley warned that the country will have to suffer at the hands of a non-performing and corrupt government. He quoted the observations of Roman senator Tacitus, driving home the point that the present situation in the country was akin to the time of Nero. “They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger … They are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor … They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretences, and all of this they hail as the construction of the empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.”

Accusing the Prime Minister of lacking political authority and acting as a hired CEO, Mr. Jaitley said it had resulted in a leadership crisis, policy paralysis and stalled projects due to squabbling Ministers and corruption. Instead of decisions being taken at the level of the Prime Minister, the BJP leader said, they were made at an “extra-Constitutional forum”, the National Advisory Council, and that was the cause for corruption and squabbling among Ministers. “Bouquets have been replaced by flower pots.”

He alleged that there was an attempt to cover up the purchase of VVIP helicopters by referring it to a parliamentary committee. Stressing that the need was to know the names of the bribe taker, Mr. Jaitley argued that MPs did not have the power of investigation, custodial interrogation or send letters rogatory to foreign governments.



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