The Congress has clarified that the prime minister’s post was not vacanct as UPA would lead the country again.
“Political leaders have a right to aspire but the ground reality remains that there is no vacancy for the top post. Congress is the largest pan-Indian political party and it will lead the UPA coalition,” said Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma on Thursday, adding that PM Manmohan Singh would again lead the country.
Sharma was referring to the claims staked to the prime minister’ post by the alliance partners like the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party.
Adding that the Congress would go out of its way to accommodate the concerns of its smaller partners, he said: “As far as problems are concerned, as a bigger partner we have and will always try to accommodate the demands and address the concern of our coalition partners.”
Regarding the alliance in Maharashtra, Sharma said the Congress and NCP will fight the elections together in the interest of the state and the country. The minister attacked the “Third Front” calling it an opportunistic meeting of individuals and parties without direction and leadership. The Front lacks coherence, sense of purpose and is inflicted with a serious disease of negativity. “It is irrelevant and the election results will prove it,” he added.
Talking about global slowdown and its effect on India becoming a major concern, Sharma said: “All the world’s economies and banks are collapsing. However, we have been relatively insulated and our banks are flourishing. Under Manmohan Singh’s leadership, the fundamentals of our economy are strong and it was Indira Gandhi’s vision of bank nationalisation that banks are sound in the current economic downslide.”
Regarding the UPA government’s performance, he said: “In the past five years we have fulfilled all the promises made by our government. We have taken forward all the policy initiatives which have transformed rural and urban India.”
He pointed out that the UPA government delivered on its promises and is committed to the aam admi (common man). He predicted that the UPA’s tally will increase and it will be way ahead of the BJP-led coalition.