My Govt won't undo earlier plans: Singh

PTI | ByAgencies, New Delhi
May 20, 2004 11:59 AM IST

While announcing his Govt's priorities, PM-designate Manmohan Singh today assured that the schemes pursued by the previous NDA Govt would not be dismantled.

Prime Minister-designate Manmohan Singh on Thursday announced the priorities of his Government, which will take office in the next few days.

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He said his Government would not dismantle the schemes pursued by the previous BJP-led Government and would continue with the Rs 58,000-crore National Highway Development Project.

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"There is need for massive investment in roads and I assure you we are not out to dismantle the scheme of the previous Government. We will make an assessment (the road project)," Singh said.

The outgoing Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government had in 2000 launched a massive National Highway Building Programme NHDP, with the first phase called Golden Quadrilateral, which would connect the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata with four/six-lane highways by 2004 end.

The second phase of NHD Project comprises North-South corridor linking Srinagar with Kanyakumari and East-West corridor connecting Silchar with Porbandar with four-lane highways by 2007.

"Roads are a national priority, we will strengthen road works programme that will give priority to rural connectivity which had not been given attention previously," he added.

He said that there should be no doubt about the stability of the new Government and that it would last its full five-year term.

He added that the coalition held by him will give a stable Government.

"I am sure all allies and supporting partners will strengthen our bonds and we will provide a stable Government for five years," he said

The Government would be committed to economic reforms, but with 'a human face' and would put a high priority on development and tackling poverty.

He said Indian polity cannot be divided on the basis of race and religion as India is an ancient civilization and the essence of Hinduism is tolerance.

"We are the most tolerant civilization and we cannot divide people on the basis of religion and race," he said.

He pledged to resolve disputes with Pakistan, saying friction between the two countries should be "a thing of the past."

"We must find ways and means to solve all the problems between India and Pakistan peacefully".

"Who had thought that the Berlin wall would melt. If those impossible things can happen, why not it be in our case," he said.

He said without sacrificing the national security it would be the endeavour of the new Government to move forward in building relations with Pakistan.

Showing his displeasure at anti-Sikh riots and Gujarat he said that "we are all anguished by such violence,"  and such incidents should not recur.

When asked about the Supreme Court making serious comments on functioning of judiciary in Gujarat, Singh said, "this is a serious matter to deal with."

"We are very concerned about functioning of judicial system in Gujarat. These are areas of grave concern. We will pay adequate attention to all these issues."

Singh refused to comment on if centre would use article 356 to dismiss the Gujarat Government.

"This is not an occasion to answer such questions. Centre-state relations is a delicate issue. It will be our effort to devise cooperative centre-state relations. I have not thought through the issue."

On the Ayodhya issue he said that the law of land should prevail in the settlement, but if there are any serious negotiations among the contesting parties and if it has the sanction of the courts then it could be pursued.

He also said the Government would not privatise state banks, but would sell loss-making government enterprises and would not privatise state energy giants Oil and Natural Gas Corp and GAIL India.

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