Cong lauds PM after his press meet; attacks BJP

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) Congress today utilised PrimeMinister Manmohan Singh''s statement over BJP''s non-cooperationin the passage of Goods and Services Tax (GST) to question theopposition party as to why CBI action against a former Gujaratminister should come in the way of the reform measure.

"If the Prime Minister has given a statement, it needs tobe taken seriously. BJP should introspect as to why animportant economic reform like GST should be stopped becauseCBI has as per the Supreme Court direction proceeded againstsomeone (Amit Shah) accused in a fake encounter case," partyspokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.

He was reacting on Singh''s press conference in which heblamed the Opposition for delay in introduction ofConstitution Amendment Bill on Goods and Service Tax.

Singh had said the Opposition, "particularly the BJP, hastaken a very hostile attitude," because of some decision taken"against a particular person, against a minister in Gujarat".

BJP President Nitin Gadkari, however, termed as"laughable" the Prime Minister''s charge that the BJP wasattacking the government to vent its anger over the actiontaken against a Gujarat Minister (Amit Shah).

Tewari also lauded Singh''s press conference saying thePrime Minister answered all queries "transparently andtruthfully" and played the role of a statesman. He said it wasa "candid and forthright" attempt to respond on all issues.

While BJP termed the press conference as "verydisappointing" and accused Singh of trying to "cover up"various scams, CPI-M attacked the Prime Minister for equatingthe loss with subsidising foodgrains and alleged that thelatter "virtually tried to justify" the spectrum scam.

Dismissing such criticisms, Tewari said the party gives"ten out of ten" to the Prime Minister for his performance andadded the country got financial stability and increasedinternational repute during the six and a half years of UPAgovernment under his leadership.

Claiming that UPA has taken firm and resolute actionwhenever any irregularities came to fore, he said that BJP''srecord is in contrast to it and the latter only tried to"sweep under carpet" such matters.

Tewari also dismissed impressions that the pressconference in a way indicated that the Prime Minister waslonely saying "there is no question of loneliness. There is nodifference between the party and the Prime Minister. The partyhas always stood behind every decision of the PM."

Asked about Singh''s remarks on compulsions of coalitionpolitics, the Congress spokesperson said, "Prime Ministermerely and correctly underscored what the reality andcompulsions of coalition politics are" and hastened to addthat this was not reflective of any re-thinking on alliances.

To repeated queries about opposition attack that Singhtried to justify 2G scam, Tewari said the comments are being"quoted out of context" and Singh was only saying that "noconclusions should be drawn till the judicial process iscompleted." PTI AMR SPG

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