Poor UPA. It has no friends even in the Media. It is being damned by one and all. The Times of India (23 May) said “so feeble is the UPA government’s credibility that the fourth annual report it unveiled to highlight its achievements in office will be seen as little more than a self-serving exercise”. It can, said the paper, at least provide talking points to Congress cadres… but even that collateral benefit could wither away if the party gets a drubbing in the polls to be held in four states… Suggesting what the party should do to retrieve lost ground, the paper said “this is obviously a mountain of grim challenges, prospects of scaling which don’t look bright at the moment.
Deccan Herald (23 May) said “as the Congress-led UPA enters its tenth straight year in office, its stock with the people of this country couldn’t have been lower.” The paper said “disgust with its corruption-ridden and inept governance, especially over the last five years is intense and widespread”. The UPA, said the paper, “has been pre-occupied with misusing public funds and hanging on to power… reluctant to act against the corrupt”. Damning the government for its “sheer brazenness” the paper said the Prime Minister’s promise to punish the wrong-doers… sounds completely hollow when he himself presided over he coal scam “of mammoth proportions”. Additionally it said “it is its thick hide that has made it insensitive to public sentiment.”
The Economic Times (23 May) said “a series of scams relative to UPA-1 have haunted UPA-2 almost to paralyse for much of its term.” It also said “lack of internal cohesion within the government has not helped” and “the UPA has no one to blame but itself for its failure to initiate the most vital reforms India needs: to make political funding and expenditure transparent and accountable… and for its failure to communicate whatever it has achieved.”
Hindustan Times (23 May) sounded uncertain as if knowing what had gone wrong, it did not want to hurt the ruling party. According to the paper “the UPA’s performance on the foreign policy front is a mixed bag (and) New Delhi’s handling of Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Maldives could have been better.” Further, it said, sounding frustrated, “there are many things that the UPA could have done differently to avert criticism it is receiving…” Perhaps, it added, the UPA has not lived up to the expectations of many, but it may just redeem itself to some extent in the remaining time of its tenure”.
DNA (May 23) felt that the UPA’s nine-year rule presented “a complex picture”, the last four being “murky and vicious”. The major scandals exposed by the CAG, said the paper, led to an “estimated loss of Rs. 70,000 crore in the Commonwealth Games, Rs. 1.76 lakh crore in the 2G Spectrum allocation and Rs. 1.86 lakh crore in the coal block allocation. In 2013, said the paper, the UPA will be judged by what it has done in the last four years and it has been a bad script.” And it added: “What the people are looking for now is an alternative to the Congress and the UPA… now it is time to accept the reprimand for its acts of omission and commission in the second term and with no hard feelings”.