After a senior CPI leader slammed the UPA Government over governance last week, the party on Monday toned down its criticism, saying that its performance at the end of three years has been a "mixed bag". The party, however, added that there was need for the Left to review the performance of the UPA and redefine their attitude towards the government's policies.
Party General Secretary AB Bardhan said on Monday that to its credit, the UPA did bring in a number of pro-people legislations in the first two years of its tenure. These legislations include the "The Right to Information Act, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and the Tribal Rights Act," Bardhan told a press conference.
The veteran communist leader said that the other positive step taken by the UPA was the stopping of PSU disinventments. He added: "Open and brazen disinvestments of PSUs have been discontinued."
The implementation of the Acts, however, has been inconsistent, tardy and over-dependent on the bureaucracy. For example, Bardhan said: "Even six months after the passing of the Tribal Rights Act, rules have not been framed and attempts at sabotaging and nullifying the Act are being allowed to gain strength."
There are also several acts that were expected to be brought in Parliament. Acts dealing with providing a social security to labour in the unorganised and the agriculture sectors and the one dealing with women's reservation are yet to tabled in Parliament, the CPI leader said.
Bardhan added that while the government is emphasising more on the 9.2 per cent GDP growth rate, it has only resulted in the rich becoming richer.
He further said that in the next two years, the UPA should try to fill these gaps and fulfill the promises made in the National Common Minimum Programme.
On the issue of the presidential elections, Bardhan denied that the Left parties had forwarded the name of any particular candidate to UPA. "The Left partners – CPI (M), All India Forward Bloc, RSP and CPI – did not forward any name. All we conveyed was that the candidate should be a political personality, should know about the political set-up, be fully aware of the Constitution and have impeccable secular credentials," Bardhan said.