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Sangma lists govt's failures
Josy Joseph in New Delhi |
August 19, 2003 14:37 IST
Last Updated: August 19, 2003 15:55 IST
Former Lok Sabha speaker and Nationalist Congress Party leader P A Sangma on Tuesday threatened to go on an indefinite hunger strike if the Centre failed to make available government jobs to Scheduled Tribes in the Delhi government.
No-confidence motion complete coverage
The quota for STs is presently kept in abeyance and his repeated meetings with Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani and other officials have yielded no results, Sangma said.
He was participating in the debate on the no-confidence motion moved against the government by the Leader of the Opposition Sonia Gandhi on Monday.
Starting off with his improvisation of former US ambassador to India John Kenneth Galbraith's definition of India -- 'a functional anarchy' --, Sangma said if anyone were to watch the proceedings of Parliament, he/she would think it was
a "dysfunctional anarchy."
Sangma said after the debate on Monday he met with a Congress supporter who wondered if Sonia Gandhi was advised by the prime minister to table the no-confidence motion. "There is a perfect understanding between the opposition and the ruling front," he alleged.
However, he said, it was the opposition's constitutional right to table a no-confidence motion.
The former Lok Sabha speaker said it was unfair for the opposition to have boycotted the defence minister because it was a challenge to the constitutional authority of the prime minister who appointed him. "If anyone was to be boycotted it was the prime minister," Sangma said.
Sangma castigated the ruling front for its all-round failure citing a drop in the country's GDP. He said the government has failed to keep its pre-poll promises in areas such as employment, labour reforms and foreign investment.
He quoted from an article by veteran strategic analyst K Subrahamanyam to argue that India's defence purchases were caught up in colonial procedures when the world moved to faster, modern procedures.
He said he was disappointed with the government's attitude towards the minorities, especially Muslims and Christians. He said we should not forget that millions of Indians live in countries where these two religious groups are majorities and they are treated well.
Sangma said the ruling front seems to be suffering from an 'opposition syndrome.' The ministers and other ruling front members do not need to make such aggressive speeches, Sangma said.
He wound up his speech predicting that the no-confidence motion would be an unexploded ordinance.