UPA govt won't last its full term, says upbeat BJP
Buoyed by its success in stalling Parliament over the 2G spectrum scam and the recent victory in Bihar, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday said the United Progressive Alliance government is unlikely to complete its full term and maintained that there was a need to expand the National Democratic Alliance to take on the Congress in the next elections.
"We are in a strange crossroads. Till a few weeks ago, I used to say we have to prepare for the 2014 general elections. Today I am not willing to say with any element of certainty or confidence that the next election will only be in 2014," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
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Image: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi addresses the media next to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
'We need to expand NDA to take on Congress'
"I don't think the government, which is almost tripping by the day, can sustain three and a half years or four years which are left," he added.
Jaitley, who was addressing a seminar organised by the BJP legal cell on the 2G spectrum allocation issue, asked the party cadre to be ready to take to the streets for protests and rallies in the coming three months on the issue.
Image: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Lal Krishna Advani speaks with party president Nitin Gadkari during a rally in New Delhi
Photographs: Danish Siddique/Reuters
'Left's prospects dim in upcoming assembly polls'
The senior BJP leader claimed that the prospects of the Left parties were dim in the forthcoming assembly polls in West Bengal and Kerala and with this the chances of a Third Front would diminish further.
"We must bear in mind that against UPA and Congress there is little space for two anti-Congress fronts. But the substantive space is only for one front. We in BJP and NDA have a substantive responsibility. We have to become the nucleus of the anti-UPA politics and in that situation we have to expand the NDA," Jaitley said.
Image: Senior Left leaders Sitaram Yechury (L), A B Bardhan, D Raja (C standing) and Prakash Karat (R) discuss during a rally in New Delhi
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
'Bihar victory indicator of things to come'
He accused the Left parties and other constituents of the Third Front of frequently changing their stand vis-a-vis the Congress by supporting or withdrawing support.
"In April there is going to be a substantive change...The Left will get a rude setback," Jaitley claimed, saying that for the first time in 30 years there would be no Left government in any big state in the country.
He referred to the recent victory of BJP in the Gujarat local bodies elections and in Bihar, where the party retained power with a thumping majority along with the Janata Dal-United, and said this was an indicator of the things to come.
Image: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar flashes a V-sign during a news conference in Patna after a thumping victory in state assembly polls
Photographs: Krishna Murari Kishan/Reuters
'Dr Singh alien to domestic politics'
The eminent lawyer also attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, holding his "silence" on the 2G scam as one of the reasons for the present state of affairs in the country.
"In the last two months, when this issue was climaxed, the principal office in a Parliamentary democracy is the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has gone into complete silence. He speaks on foreign policy and then stops it at that. For some reason domestic politics is becoming alien to him," Jaitley said.
He accused the Prime Minister of not taking any initiative to break the stalemate in Parliament or taking a stand against corruption.
"It today appears he is losing his will to govern and that is the silence he is going into. This government appears to be cracking up as though the raj is going to slip out," Jaitley said.
He described Singh as a "prisoner of coalition politics" who is "presiding for the last three years over the cover-up (on 2G)".
Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh speaks during a news conference in New Delhi
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters