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Advani, Rajnath nurse hopes of UPA comeback

Party Chief Rajnath Singh releases a 66-page charge sheet entitled "UPA's three years, Aam Aadmi's tear years", reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: May 23, 2007 00:42 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times

Despite BJP's massive setback in the Uttar Pradesh elections, Leader of Opposition LK Advani and Party Chief Rajnath Singh see reasons for a comeback by their party as the UPA completed three years in office on Tuesday.

Advani, who was in Goa, released a list of ten "failures" of the UPA government. "Its downward slide has begun," he said. "The UPA government's unpopularity is growing at an accelerated pace. On the other hand, barring the recent setback in UP, the BJP and its allies are clearly on a comeback trail."

Rajnath released a 66-page charge sheet entitled "UPA's three years, Aam Aadmi's tear years" in New Delhi. It forecast doom for the government, saying the BJP-led alliance would win back people's support, as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's administration was "faceless, directionless and spineless".

The BJP chief said, "one election does not seal a party's future We are doing a postmortem to find out why we lost. Let's see what happens in the next few months in UP. The BJP cannot be written off so soon."

Advani said, "Today, the BJP is in power, either on its own or in alliance, in nine states, which is much more than the number of Congress-ruled states. Also, the combined strength of the BJP's MLAs across the country is much more than that of Congress MLAs. I am confident that the Congress will taste defeat in the Assembly elections in Goa, and again in Gujarat later this year."

Advani said the UPA government and the Congress party would mark the anniversary "in predictably a propagandistic manner. The propaganda, however, looks increasingly laboured, artificial and unenthusiastic. It can barely hide the growing discordant voices within the UPA."

He said, "I have seen the performance of every government at the Centre since Independence. But I have not seen a government that is so utterly lacking in credibility, confidence and cohesion."

Advani referred to the controversy caused by Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar's remark that the "Manmohan Singh's is a government whose economic policy may not get the 'aam aadmi's' endorsement."

He said, "I do not know why Aiyar is being allowed to say such things by the Congress high command without being reprimanded. Some analysts say this may be part of a deliberate attempt to distance the party's supreme leader from the failures of the government, so that at an opportune time in the near future the nominal and nominated Prime Minister can be dispensed with."

Advani said, "the Congress party has surrendered itself to a slavish culture in which the reigning Dynasty never does wrong and is never responsible or accountable for any failure. I was rather amused to read in newspapers last week when both Sonia Gandhi and her son blamed 'the party' for its failure in the recently concluded UP assembly elections."

Rajnath alleged the UPA rule was "faceless, directionless and spineless" and led by a Prime Minister who has no say in his cabinet.

Listing "non-achievements and failures" of UPA during its three year rule, he also targeted Congress President Sonia Gandhi, saying price rise does not come down by writing letters.

BJP's chargesheet against UPA

· Failure to check steep rise in prices of all essential items
· Failure to bring relief to the agricultural sector
· Failure – and even deliberate unwillingness – to attend to the needs of internal security
· Government put on Muslim League mode for vote bank politics
· Constitutional institutions undermined
· Economy in chaos due to back seat driving by the Left
· Dogmatic pursuit of Indo-US Nuclear Deal, ignoring scientists' concerns
· Failure to accelerate major infrastructure projects
· Failure to protect farmers in SEZ policy
· Failure to fight the evil of corruption and scams
· Failure to deal with criminalization in politics and governance
· Failure of Prime Minister to defend the dignity of his high office

First Published: May 22, 2007 21:22 IST