‘Opposition envious of UPA’s record’

Quoting Roman scholar Publius Cornelius Tacitus, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the Opposition is disparaging everything as they are full of envy.

In a less combative mood than in the Lok Sabha, where he said the Bharatiya Janata Party will not win the Lok Sabha elections again, the Prime Minister trained his gun on the Opposition leader, Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha.

Quoting Tacitus, he said when men are full of envy they disparage everything, whether it be good or bad.

Jaitley too had depended on Tacitus to attack the Centre on Wednesday. During his speech on the motion to thank the President for his address to Parliament, Jaitley had said that, “In any country, the more the number of laws, the greater will be the corruption.”

The Prime Minister, in his reply, said the Opposition should be more objective in assessing work of his Government. He said in agriculture, growth rate or industrialisation, the record of the UPA speaks for itself. Comparing the investment his Government had made in education, infrastructure and social sectors with that of the BJP-led NDA Government, he said the UPA has tried to carry forward the good policies of the NDA.

He added that successive Governments had not changed the direction of economic reforms, started in 1991. “The path we have chosen is the right path,” he said.

He exuded confidence that the growth rate will touch seven to eight per cent in the next two to three years. He said the Government is handling the situation well. He said the intent of the UPA Government was to raise the growth rate and speed up the pace of industrialisation.

“As the Finance Minister said we do not believe growth rate will stay where it is today. We will use all our policies to push up growth rate,” he added.

He said his Government was taking all possible steps to help the farmers.

“The growth in agriculture had increased during the last few years,” he said. He added that the Centre has increased expenditure for the poor and marginalised. “We are proud of our programmes for the poor and disadvantaged,” he said.

The motion to thank the President was passed in the Upper House as the Opposition members decided not to press their amendments. Jaitley, however, questioned the Prime Minister for not mentioning about corruption in his speech. He said the Opposition was not envious about the track record of the UPA on corruption.

jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on March 8, 2013)
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