Millennium Post

Petrol may burn the UPA

The second innings of the UPA government at the Centre is turning into a disaster by each passing day. The government is riddled with scams that surfaces more commonly even before the previous one subsides. The government and especially the Prime Minister has come under the attack of Team Anna on CAG report on allocation of coal blocks resulting in losses of Rs 1.8 lakh crore. The government was quick to respond that it was not aware of any such report and the allegations were unfounded and baseless.

To compound the problems of Dr Manmohan Singh’s government which is yet to recover from the 2G shock, Anna’s allegation of corruption against the prime minister in coal block allotment made an emotional Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hit back saying he would give up public life if charges leveled by the activists were proved.

'I will give up my public life even if there is an iota of truth in allegations leveled against me, and the country can give me my punishment. My long public career as finance minister, as leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha and now as prime minister has been an open book.'
The public mood and perception about a corrupt regime has been at an all-time high since the UPA came to power for the second time in 2009. The hike in petrol prices have not gone down well with the common man who is already struggling to make two ends meet in a highly inflated economy.

While adopting the constitution 63 years ago on 26th day of November 1949, preamble of which states We, The People of India, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY, of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation.

Is this the kind of justice and equality we have achieved for our brothers and sisters where large sections of our people remain marginalised?  We have a long way to go to achieve universal literacy, quality education for all, better healthcare for the poor, a place in the national mainstream for the disabled & underprivileged and the development of our women and children to their full potential. Newer challenges have emerged, among which water conservation; environmental protection, combating HIV/AIDS & other communicable and non-communicable diseases and female foeticide are prominent.

If the common man is to see an environment around him where he is beaten by a high inflation, where large section of the population is illiterate and without quality healthcare, where the law and order is breaking down and the state rather than acting as a savior acts as an aggressor, it creates an atmosphere of despondency. What will happen to a nation and its people when government for the people starts working as government against the people? That is the question which stares in the face of the nation at this crucial juncture. Dr Singh has to rise to the occasion and the leader in him needs to address this issue on an urgent basis.

The India shinning story has taken a beating in both domestic and international markets. The investors’ confidence in the business environment and the governance faces a huge crisis of confidence and is at its lowest in last two decades. The hike in petrol prices brought the opposition parties together and they seized the opportunity and called for a nationwide bandh against the misrule of the UPA lead by the congress party. People thronged the streets throughout the country, cutting across party lines and took the occasion to vent their displeasure against the government.

The $50 trillion dollar economy dream is beginning to shake, the state of business and industry looks in shamble. The international investor which once looked at India as a favorable destination for capital investment is susceptible of its leaders who are branded as most corrupt in the world. To add injury to insult the economic growth rate fell to a nine year low from 8.4% from the preceding two fiscals to 6.5% during the year 2011-2012. Pranab Mukherjee termed the decline as disappointing and promised that government shall take all necessary steps to improve growth. The finance minister said that 'The government would take all necessary steps to address imbalance on the fiscal front and on the current account. It would help in checking inflationary expectations and inspire confidence for improved capital inflows as well as recovery in domestic investment growth.'

What other options do we have but to believe the senior most minister of the government who also happens to be a strong contender for the forthcoming presidential elections due in July. It is an extraordinary situation, where the prime minister heads probably the most dishonest cabinet seen in independent India. He needs to wake up from a long spell of silence and demonstrate in actions in what he claims that he will give up public life even if there is an iota of truth in allegations leveled against him and the country can punish him. Mr Prime Minister the country men are in solidarity with you. It is for you to hold the faith and confidence of your people who voted for your honesty and integrity during the last elections and brought you to power for the second term in succession. We know and understand that you have the limitations of running a coalition government, but you are a professor who knows for sure that at the moment the country is closed, the key is in your hand, you need to open its door to future growth and prosperity.
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