THERE seems to be no respite for the UPA-II. The Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is being targeted globally and also in the domestic front.
Once again, The Economist in the cover story of its latest issue has described the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as “do little Prime Minister.” It dug deeper by calling the Gandhli clan and its supremo as a “dithering dynastic party leader, Sonia Gandhi.” The Economist’s take on Rahul Gandhi is as follows: “Rahul Gandhi, the son and great grandson of Prime Ministers…having led a dreadful campaign for Congress in UP, he seems to have lost his nerve.” It went on to add: “No one really knows what he stands for or whether he can lead. Nobody ever gets to interview either him or his mother Sonia.” Clamining that because of Rahul, the Congress gen-x has been restrained from growing, The Economist wrote: “ …no other young leaders can rise.”
Its not only the Opposition or disenchanted allies, who are accusing this government of being corrupt, but The Economist also says, “Mr Manmohan Singh, once a model of rectitude, is tarnished by presiding over the most corrupt government in India’s inpendent history.”
If the Government is repeatedly being battered by the international media, at home the Trinamool Congress chief and West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee has threatened to bring a “no-confidence motion against it in the next Parliament session.”
She has also appealed to various political parties to support it. At a protest rally at Jantar Mantar on September 1, which was attended by NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, Banerjee said that she had “heard” that the general elections could be advanced and held in March next year. Then she thundered: “We also don’t want this government. If need be, we are ready for bringing a no-confidence motion against this government.” Leading the protrest against FDI in retail and price rise in diesel, she said : “I have heard that elections will happen in March. I am ready for a resolution.”
Trouble for Dr Singh cotninues to soar as top BJP leader, LK Advani in his blog cited letters from traders’ bodies to allege that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has opposed FDI in multi-brand retail when he was Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha in 2002 on the ground that it would destroy employment.
In his blog, Shri Advani revealed that Singh had written a letter to the Federation of Maharashtra Traders on December 21, 2002 stating that the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail had been raised in the Rajya Sabha two days earlier. “The Finance Minister gave an assurance,” Dr Manmohan Singh said approvingly, ‘that government had no proposal to invite Foreign Direct Investment in Retail Trade’,” Shri Advani said, quoting from the letter.
Meanwhile, some leaders in Trinamool felt that instead of a no-confidence motion against the Government, the party should ask for a “sense of the House” over the FDI retail, cap on LPG cylinders and diesel price hike. It was argued since the no-confidence motion would not be able to destabilise the government (with SP-BSP supporting), the “sense of the House” could possibly put the Government in an embarassing situation, since all its allies have been opposing the move. And then this government might lose the moral right to govern.