Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the press conference addressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to mark the completion of the first year of UPA-II in power. Jaitely said the PM resorted to evading or deflecting questions on issues he had no answers to.
“He decided to talk but not speak (on many issues),” Jaitley said, adding that he complimented the media for trying to get answers that the country was seeking from the PM.
Apart from sending a message to his own party regarding his intention to stay in office and Rahul Gandhi’s induction into the government, Jaitley said the PM did not answer on specific issues. “When no answers are given, the country is entitled to assume that no answers can be given. Why have a press conference if you have decided not to say nothing?”
Referring to his defence of Telecom Minister A. Raja on the basis of his interview to a newspaper, Jaitley said, “Since, when has the opinion of the accused become paramount? No body has raised an accusing finger at the PM on the issue of corruption,” he said.
“But that does not mean that the PM can look the other way when serious cases of corruption are made out against his ministers.”
Listing what the “fundamental questions” that the PM “evaded” were, Jaitley said, “They include: what steps the government has taken or will take to tackle price rise? How does the PM intend to resolve the conflicts of opinion within the UPA on the strategy to tackle the Maoist violence?”
The PM also did not clarify whether before resuming dialogue with Pakistan, was he convinced that no part of territory under Pakistan will be used for terrorist activities.
Jaitley accused the PM of giving false hope of the inflation sliding by December without stating what steps the government has taken. Jaitley said he did not clear the confusion created by those in the government and ruling Congress speaking differently on the issue of tackling the Maoist violence.
Jaitley said the PM chose to hold the press conference on completion of the first year of the UPA-II government, “but could not make the nation any wiser on any issue. His government is devoid of any achievement and has been a year of mis-governance, incoherence, corruption and chaos.”