The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday sprung a surprise for the UPA-II and more so for Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who is championing the cause of Foreign Direct Investment, when it released a letter dated December 21, 2002, in which the prime minister had opposed FDI.
The letter, purportedly written by Dr Manmohan Singh to the chairman of the foreign trade committee, opposes Foreign Direct Investment in retail.
The Manmohan Singh government had announced a bunch of reforms including FDI in multi-brand retail just two weeks back, which led Trinamool Congress to pull out of the Congress-led UPA at the Centre.
Dr Singh has been facing criticism both from allies and the Opposition for allowing FDI in retail.
Speaking on the issue BJP president Nitin Gadkari said, "Let us analyse the current scenario in the country. There is all round deterioration in our political, economic and social life. A sense of uncertainty and unease prevails everywhere. The country is being run by a visionless leadership. Stung by ruthless public criticism of its directionless approach and anti-people policies, the government is now resorting to senseless measures in a desperate and futile attempt to divert public attention from the real issues."
"The party is meeting at a critical juncture. The UPA regime has become vulnerable. It has been suffering from policy paralysis for long. The country may be heading for a constitutional crisis. The unstable Congress-led government is thrusting upon the people decisions on certain vital issues with wider ramifications without the prior approval of Parliament. The people are dejected and are feeling suffocated under this most corrupt and rudderless dispensation and are determined to throw it out. We have no choice but to come to the rescue of aam aadmi," said Gadkari.
"The UPA allies are in a dilemma. Some of them are keen to desert the sinking ship. Others have been giving vent to their frustration. Unfortunately, some of the parties extending outside support to the UPA are busy in calculating the arithmetic of electoral profit and loss.
Privately, many of them acknowledge that longer the corrupt UPA regime stays in office, the more it is a threat to national interest. But in public posturing they appear hesitant to distance themselves from the govt," he said.
"We in the BJP have held our heads high and resolutely exposed the misdeeds of the government inside and outside the Parliament. Our party has been successfully leading the nationwide campaign against all the corruptions scandals of Manmohan Singh govt and thus providing a forceful voice to the widespread anguish and resentment among the people," said Gadkari.
"The BJP is committed to Parliamentary democracy and has utmost respect for its institutions. We have never undermined Parliamentary rules and procedures. The BJP members were compelled to undertake some extra-ordinary steps in the last monsoon session when the UPA politicised the very functioning of the Parliament. The Congress is credited with the dubious distinction of making a mockery of the parliamentary institutions in the last six decades and has never hesitated to abuse its rules and procedures to stay in power. They have a track record of undermining the legislature, the judiciary and the media with scant respect for democratic institutions. We have to expose them thoroughly," he added.
"The withdrawal of support by Ms Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress has proved that even the UPA allies don't trust the Congress party and that it has no respect for the sensitivities and genuine grievances of the regional parties. It will not be wrong to conclude that the withdrawal of support by the Trinamool Congress indicates that the UPA constituents too see the Congress as a sinking ship," he said.
"The UPA coalition has been reduced to a conglomerate of the parties which are partners in the loot. Managing this unholy coalition as the biggest ally of the Congress is the CBI -- the Congress Bureau of Investigation. The people are not going to tolerate such an alliance.
The coal scam has taken place under the direct supervision of the prime minister, in which the administrative machinery as well as the process of policy formulation has been subverted to serve the political interests of the ruling party," Gadkari said.
"It appears that UPA is running a mega loot programme. Their web of corruption covers air, water, energy, agriculture, forest and mining. Corruption is all pervasive under Dr Manmohan Singh.
After the Rs 76,000-crore Commonwealth Games scam, there was the 2G scam of Rs 1,76,000 crore. The CAG reports (Power, Coal & Civil Aviation) has estimated the scams amounting to Rs 4, 80,000 crore," the BJP leader said.
"The Congress believes that like the Bofors scam, the public will also forget these scams. The Bofors scam sent the Rajiv Gandhi government packing, the Harshad Mehta 'suitcase' scam caused the downfall of the Narasimha Rao government and now the Coalgate will throw the Manmohan Singh government out. Coupled with the black money to the tune of 21 lakh crore stashed in Swiss Banks takes this amount to nearly 25 lakh crore. If this amount is utilised for public good, we can have dwelling units for 5 crore people, drinking water for 5 Lakh rural poor, thousands of hospitals and pension for unorganised sectors. The BJP and its NDA allies will intensify their Mahasangram (mega battle) against corruption with the help of other parties," he said.
"I appeal to all parties, organisations, individuals, particularly the youth: 'Let us collectively give impetus to this struggle and liberate India from the corrupt rule of the Congress'."
"Economic reforms cannot be introduced without a national consensus. The Congress government has lost the mandate to push economic reforms. The successful 'Bharat Band' on 20th September demonstrated the universal opposition to this unilateral decision, he said.
"The BJP is strongly opposed to Foreign Direct Investment in retail and strongly believes that it will destroy the country's retail trade. Pathetic conditions of farmers, suicides due to hike in the prices of diesel, urea, seeds and cooking gas."
"The BJP would like to assure the people that we are committed to such economic reforms which serve the interests of all sections the village, poor, labour, farmer, youth and small and medium traders. Our policy of reforms is not meant to benefit only a handful of people."
"The Congress government at the Centre has always sought to pamper the separatists in Jammu & Kashmir. The report of the three member committee of interlocutors appears to reflect the intentions of the anti-India forces and separatist elements. It is like another 'Manifesto for Partition' of India. The patriotic people of Jammu & Kashmir and all citizens have already considered this report worthy of throwing into the dustbin. It would be better if the central government also accepts this fact at the earliest. The Bharatiya Janata Party and various nationalist organizations have been educating the public. The BJP demands that the government should immediately announce rejection of this report and respect the sentiments of the people," Gadkari said.