New Delhi, May 19: With the image of his government in tatters, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will present the last Report Card of UPA-II on May 22 in which he is expected to list the positives such as Direct Benefit Transfer and FDI in retail in a bid to boost the sagging morale of Congressmen with elections less than a year away.
Battered by series of scams and the recent sacking of Cabinet ministers P K Bansal and Ashwani Kumar, the Prime Minister's task to present a positive picture is not easy. Congress President Sonia Gandhi and leaders of UPA constituents will be present at a dinner in which Singh will present the Report Card on the fourth anniversary of UPA-II.
Gandhi is expected to showcase her backing for the Prime Minister in the backdrop of reports that the two had sharp differences, which has been denied by the party.
The Prime Minister is expected to unveil plans on the occasion on the way ahead for the much-talked about National Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill, seen by the party as game changers in the next Lok Sabha elections. Representatives of Trinamool Congress and DMK will not be at the dinner as the two key allies have left the UPA. Despite the challenges ahead, Congress leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyar are unfazed.
"I think the greatest advantage we have is because of the most incompetent opposition in Independent India." "They are thrammed first in Uttarakhand, then in HP and now in Karnataka. Consequently, we have nothing to fear from this divided opposition and should use the coming year to trumpet our achievements but in a modest way," he says. As against this, the Left and the Right are one in their assessment that a return of the Congress-led coalition to power is unlikely.