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Prove majority within a week: Advani
July 09, 2008 10:03 IST
Stating that the United Progressive Alliance coalition led by Manmohan Singh [Images] had lost its majority in the Lok Sabha, Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial nominee Lal Kishenchand Advani on Tuesday night issued an appeal to President Pratibha Patil [Images] to advise the prime minister not to take the next steps in concluding the Indo-US nuclear deal before proving his majority in the Lok Sabha.
The PM, who is in Japan [Images] for the G-8 Summit in Japan, has spoken of taking the next steps in concluding the Indo-US nuclear deal, but it was incumbent on the part of the government to seek a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha in a week's time, Advani said giving a lecture on 'Transparency and Accountability in Governance,' in New Delhi.
Advani asserted, "A minority government cannot go ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal" and the country's governance was already in a state of 'paralysis'."
"The Left parties have withdrawn their support to the Congress-led UPA government due to irreconcilable differences over the Indo-US nuclear cooperation deal and the PM should show his majority in Parliament in about a week's time," he added.
Recalling how the Jammu and Kashmir [Images] state government had fallen after its coalition partner People's Democratic Party withdrew its support, Advani said the Azad government was allowed one week's time to prove its majority and it should be the case for Central government also.
The leader of the opposition said ideally in a democracy, any major interntional agrement that impinges national unity, territorial integrity and security must be ratified by Parliament. In fact, the majority of the MPs were opposed to the nuclear deal and the BJP had sought amending the provision of the Constitution, he added.
"This was in contrast with the way the previous National Democratic Alliance government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had handled the nuclear issue in 1998. When the BJP headed the NDA, it had evolved a consensus within the ruling alliance and it was part of the Common Minimum Programme," Advani said.
"The BJP had abided by the coalition dharma by leaving out contentious issues of the National Agenda for Governance unlike the Congress which had flouted the dharma by zealously pursuing contentious issue. The PM must come clean on the 'deal behind the deal," he said pointing to the "brazenly opportunistic" alliance struck between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. The ties between these two parties was marked by 'bitter relationship' all these years but 'scandalous reasons' must have happened to sweeten this animosity, he said.
The PM must assure the country that there was no 'quid pro-quo' between the two partners and the government was not misusing the institution to bail out certain individuals in cases of economic offences and financial irregularities, he said.
He said the degeneration of political and governance culture was detrimental to democracy and would affect citizens' conduct in society and the BJP was committed to halt and reverse this degeneration. The party was also committed to alliance politics based on trust and common programme, he said.
Advani said his party was committed to ideal of good governance, which alone could unleash the full potential of India and make the country a great power to overcome poverty, backwardness and divisiveness at home and secure a front ranking position in the comity of nations.
"We shall strive our utmost to defeat the politics of cynicism and opportunism that has reigned supreme in New Delhi for the past four years," he said.
Advani said the government had stopped functioning on burning issues like price rise, slowdown in the economy resulting in reduced employment opportunity, rising interest rates and the plight of the farmers who were facing fertiliser shortage in crucial sowing season. "The past record of the government in dealing with the twin menaces -- terrorism and Naxal violence- was 'most dismal'," he alleged.
He said the recent developments in the UPA had also brought to the fore the challenge before India's democracy and how to make the system work for the country and the common man in the era of coalitions.
While nobody disputed that the era of coalitions had come to stay, however, it was a test for the political parties and for their willingness and commitment to work comparatively with one another on agreed programmes to fulfil the needs and aspirations of the countrymen.
He also recalled how the BJP's earlier avatar the Bharatiya Jana Sangh had worked closely in association with the non-Communist opposition parties although the party had a handful of MPs in its earlier days. Its conduct with the previous National Democratic Front had helped the formation of NDA coalition in 1998, he recalled.
"Today after 28 years of the BJP, the party was proud about its growing strength and the party was responsible for ending the single party system perpetrated by the Congress at the Centre to a bipolar polity. The party now had governments in a dozen states of the country either on its own or with allies. We set high standards of accountability and transparency in governance when we were in government between 1998 and 2004 and had set a record of never misusing the institutions for partisan gains. We made India strong and properous with many bold initiatives," he claimed.
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