'Give us stability, I'll ensure you get water'

Addressing a rally in TN, Vajpayee urged the people to give the NDA a thumping majority to ensure growth.
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Published on May 06, 2004 02:33 PM IST
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PTI | ByPress Trust of India, Tiruppur, Tamil Nadu

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday said the position of the Congress party was "pitiable" in the elections since it was fighting for its own survival rather than forming a government.

Addressing an election meeting here this evening, he asked questioned the ability of the Communists and small parties to provide a strong and stable government in Delhi.

Terming the Congress-DMK alliance as "political opportunism of the highest order", the Prime Minister said that after linking DMK to the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress had once again joined hands with the same party. People raise serious doubts whether Congress was serious about the memory of Rajiv Gandhi.

Everyone knew that Congress was not that of Kamaraj or Nehru, Vajpayee said adding that it had lost its support base in one state after another due to its "record of betrayal". It lost trust of other political parties, which was why it failed to cobble up a coalition at the national level.

Those opposed to the NDA have no common platform, manifesto or leader. But they say they want to defeat NDA, Vajpayee said. "What are you going to tell the people? What will you replace the NDA with? Tell us, who will be part of the Government and who is the Prime Minister," he asked.

Suddenly there was talk of so called third front which "is an headless, limbless wonder, which cannot be brought into existence," Vajpayee said.

There had indeed been an experiment of a United Front Government in 1996 for which Congress pledged outside support for five years. However, the party broke its pledge within a year and pulled down the Government of Deve Gowda, he said adding that IK Gujral became the second Prime Minister in the United Front with Congress support.

The Congress gave an ultimatum to Gujral to remove the DMK ministers saying that the party had links with LTTE, which was responsible for Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. "This was not a minor complaint, not an accusation but very grave charge". The same Congress had now joined hands with the DMK and some other parties, he pointed out.

Today it was clear as daylight that the NDA alone could provide a stable strong and development-oriented government in New Delhi, he claimed adding "indeed we have demonstrated our success by our performance in six years. We not only provided stability but also rapid all-round develepment."

"National security is stronger than before. National economy is stronger than never before. In the international standing, our prestige has risen in the past six years and India has now become the fourth largest economy in the world. The world is looking at us as an emerging economic power," the Prime Minister said.

Amidst the threat of rains, Vajpayee in his 30 minute address, blamed Congress of misleading the people, especially youth, that the government had failed to provide one crore jobs as promised in the manifesto.

The facts and figures had been placed in the Parliament and the government had succeeded in providing employment to 84 lakh, Vajpayee said, and added "I have challenged Sonia Gandhi to dispute our claim." But she has not accepted and instead was raising the issue during the election campaign, he said.

The nature of employment was changing in the country, but the number was increasing, the prime minister said.

Touching upon water shortage, particularly in Tamil Nadu, Vajpayee said that the government had taken up the linking of national rivers to find a permanent solution.

The blueprint was ready and the project would be kicked off on August 15 this year, Vajpayee, amidst thunderous applause from the crowd, announced.

Asking the Congress why it had not taken up and implemented linking of rivers, which was discussed during Jawaharlal Nehru and KL Rao's time, Vajpayee said that if Congress had started implementing the scheme, there would not have been this much suffering.

The truth was that Congress neglected basic development. Scarcity of water, lack of roads, education and health care were the legacy the party left behind, he said.

Vajpayee sought a two-thirds majority to take India, particularly Tamil Nadu, on the highway of speedy development.

It was obvious that NDA would return to power after the polls but a bigger mandate, a two-thirds majority, was needed to take the country and the state to greater heights, he said.

Pointing out that there was the problem of water shortage in Tamil Nadu, he said it cannot be solved by fighting each other and needed a permanent solution for which the cooperation of states was necessary.

NDA government at the Centre, working closely with the state government, would solve the problem, he said.

Referring to various schemes in the region, Vajpayee said the Centre will help for their speedy implementation.

Touching upon on another contentious issue of CENVAT, being raised by powerloom and textile industry, the Prime Minister said this was not implemented by his government but was part of the tax reforms started by the earlier government.

Since the problem has been brought to our attention "we will do our best," he said.

NDA has a bright vision for development of India by 2020, to make it a great nation, Vajpayee said, adding Tamil Nadu, under Chief Minister Jayalalithaa will play a leading role to realise the common vision.

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Sunday, January 23, 2022