September 30, 2012 · 0 Comments
Signalling that he was not going to retrace his steps on the recent economic decisions despite the unease among UPA partners, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said his government would continue with the reforms process and discuss them with allies.
“We will do what is good for the country… reforms are not a one-off process,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of the swearing-in ceremony of new Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir at Rashtrapati Bhawan.
Responding to questions on demands for rollback of decisions on FDI in multi-brand retail, diesel hike and the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders — on the last two, even the DMK has voiced reservations — the Prime Minister indicated that he did not foresee any problems with UPA allies.
“We are far away from elections,” he said when he was asked if the decisions could trigger an early election. He said he was not upset by the decision of the Trinamool Congress to walk out of the ruling coalition. “I am not bitter about anything,” he said.
The UPA coordination committee had met earlier this week where the recent decisions of the government, including the issue of FDI in multi-brand retail and fuel hike, were discussed by allies.
Singh also sought to dismiss the accusation of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that FDI was aimed at pleasing the US when he said: “What has the US got to do with this? We are not a country to be dictated by others.” On the Supreme Court’s opinion on the issue of auction of natural resources, he said: “We honour the judgement.”
Hours after he made it clear that he was going to stick to the reforms path, the Prime Minister came under attack from the BJP which maintained he had “acted under foreign pressure” and was now making a “pathetic attempt” to deny it.
“It is a pathetic attempt by the Prime Minister to deny something which is so obvious and glaring…. It is a sad day for the country that the Prime Minister of India has to deny that he is not working under foreign pressure and he does not sound convincing,” BJP MP Balbir Punj said.
BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said the Prime Minister had failed to explain the “change in his stand”.
“In 2002 and 2004, he himself had stood up against FDI in retail, what brought about the change in his stance? As late as last year, the government assured Parliament that consultations will be held with political parties and all stakeholders on this issue, so what brought about this change without even building a consensus? The Prime Minister took a U-turn despite his alliance partners, TMC and SP, being against the move. It happened after Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, met the Chief Minister opposed to the FDI to convince her. It is these things that the Prime Minister has to explain,” she said.
By Web Editor