Govt claims high on rhetoric, low on substance: BJP

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New Delhi, Mar 4 (UNI) Stating that a ''determined'' leadership and ''decisive'' governance was required to ensure foolproof national security, the BJP today launched a blistering attack on the UPA for doing very little as a policy initiative to hold on to a sustained growth rate of 8.8 per cent during the last four years.

Making an all out attack on the ''indecisive'' approach of the UPA, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley drew applause for his oratory, punching holes in the claims by the government, while speaking on the Motion of Thanks on President's Address in the Rajya Sabha.

He said the only major achievement of the Dr Manmohan Singh-led government for the last four years was to manage to stay in office.

''However, an objective analysis of the policy initiatives reveal that it (UPA) has adopted a 'do-nothing' approach,'' Mr Jaitley charged, saying the leadership was ''indecisive and incapable'' of taking any poliy initiative.

The Finance Minister made into the newspaper headlines with his Rs 60,000 crore farm loan waiver. ''But the real devil in his budget was in details,'' he said wondering how such a huge amount could be written off.

''Doubts are being raised not just in the media but in the higher echelons of the government as they are not sure how such huge debts can be written off,'' the former law minister said.

When thousands of farmers committed suicides year after year there was hardly any initiative to help the affected farming community. But at the fag end of his term the Finance Minister has come out with the grand write off scheme, he said.

''We too are willing to hail...But from where this money will come from,'' he asked. The Non-Performing Assets in the scheduled banks in March 2007 was Rs 7,237 crore and the figures after the waiver would be in the range of Rs 11000 crore among these banks, he pointed out.

This means the Government will have to waive off Rs 50,000 crore of Regional Rural Banks and Cooperatives, he observed. ''If the Finance Minister can write off this huge amount we will hail him-- but he should realise that 'fudgy maths' is not the hallmark of good governance,'' he remarked.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, is a distinguished economist who had steered the national economy as the country's Finance Minister in the P V Narasimha Rao Government. Even the present Finance Minister P Chidambaram did take several policy initiatives in his previous avatar in the United Front, he said.

''It is time for Dr Singh to come out on his own,'' Mr Jaitley remarked.

The BJP leader's powerful exposition of the government's failures evoked noisy protests from the treasury benches but some of the UPA allies, including the Left party MPs did not choose to counter his onslaught. Even the Samajwadi Party MPs chose to admire his speech without obstructing much to the annoyance of the ruling Congress benches.

The interventions sought to be made by Government Chief Whip V Narayanasamy and senior Congress leader B Janardhana Poojari could not contain the political onslaught.


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