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HindustanTimes Sun,28 Dec 2014

PMO ups the defence ante, says Singh is King

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, April 18, 2014
First Published: 13:45 IST(18/4/2014) | Last Updated: 12:42 IST(19/4/2014)

Reeling under the attack of the ‘book bombs’, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Friday stepped up the defence of the otherwise reticent Manmohan Singh.

Highlighting the track record of the government in past 10 years, the PMO claimed that Singh’s tenure saw unprecedented progress.

“In past 10 years, the kind of progress and development that the country has seen is more than anything made in the history of mankind in any democracy anywhere in the world,” the communication advisor to the PMO, Pankaj Pachauri said on Friday, barely a month before Manmohan Singh’s retirement.

Pachauri’s press conference on Friday comes days after the Opposition targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the books by his former media advisor Sanjaya Baru and former-coal secretary PC Parakh.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2014/4/19-04-14-pg11a.jpg

The move also comes ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s upcoming poll campaign in Gujarat.
 
Even as his office defends his track record, the PM is expected to launch an all-out attack on Narendra Modi from the latter’s home turf on development issues.

“Rahul Gandhi has been attacking Modi’s Gujarat model. The PM will add fresh salvos,” added a Congress source.

The PM has so far travelled to Assam and Tamil Nadu. In the next phase, he will travel to Gujarat, Punjab, Maharashtra and Hyderabad.

The statistics were also collaborated from the PM’s speeches, perhaps to underline that during his long innings, the PM had spoken on all important subjects. “If you see these figures, you will realise that the India we witness today, almost half of it, was achieved in the last 10 years,” said Pachauri.

Refuting the allegation that Singh didn’t speak much, Pachauri said that the PM always preferred to talk on the floor of Parliament but in the last five years.

“Parliament has not given him enough chances to speak,” he added.
 
The PMO official also partially blamed the media for not conveying the development story of the UPA government properly. “The government’s achievements have not reached people because in the media priorities are different,” he said.

Hinting that the Prime Minister may not give further explanation on Baru’s book, the advisor said the PMO, Singh’s family and the Congress party have all spoken on the matter.


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