The Bharatiya Janata Party said the first anniversary of the United Progressive Alliance-II was marked by "disappointment and betrayal of common man" and that price rise, corruption and surge in Naxal violence were the "achievements" of the government which could complete one year by "misusing" the Central Bureau of Investigation.
"This year was of the year of betrayal to aam adami, year of massive corruption in government and administration, year of inhuman atrocities by Naxalites," Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said. "I can't understand what are the celebrations for. Are they celebrating the death of people in Naxal violence, or celebrating 2G spectrum scam? What are you celebrating?" she said. The first year of the UPA-II should be termed as a "black year", Swaraj said during a demonstration organised in Delhi to protest the government's policy on price rise, terrorism, Naxalism and unemployment.
She alleged that the UPA-II has committed the "biggest betrayal" of the common man, though votes were sought in the name of 'aam aadmi' before the elections. "What have they (UPA) done in one year--harassed aam adami with price rise, made some of its ministers rich and gave Naxal menace to the security forces. This is the achievement of this government," she charged. She described UPA as "Unlimited Problems Alliance". "Sometimes the alliance parties, sometimes their supporting parties or at other times Congress' own party members create problems," the BJP leader said. "Among alliance partners, sometimes the Nationalist Congress Party becomes reason of headache, sometimes Dravida Munnetra Kazhagm and sometimes the Trinamool Congress. Among the supporting parties, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party leaders threaten to give letter for withdrawing their support to the government on the issue of women's reservation bill," she said. "So far as their own members are concerned, Digvijay Singh speaks against (P) Chidambaram. Sometimes Manishankar (Aiyar) speaks against Chidambaram. Shashi Tharoor speaks against his own government. Jairam Ramesh speaks against its own government. And finally Shashi Tharoor paid his price for speaking out of turn," she said.
She also accused "some" of the ministers of not doing their job. "There is one Chemical and Fertiliser Minister. Neither does he come to Parliament nor go to cabinet. We have not seen his face till date. Nobody has seen him. Neither the Lok Sabha Speaker nor the Rajya Sabha Chairman. No one knows what does he look like," she said describing M K Azhagiri as a "non-performing minister".
Swaraj also took on HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, describing him as an "announcement minister". "There is one minister who makes announcements before any decision is taken and later, after reactions, withdraws them --(he is) Kapil Sibal. He says Central school quota (for MPs and Ministers) has been abolished but after reactions, he restores the quota," she said.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said one year of UPA-II was the "year of disappointment" The government "has managed its one year term by misusing constitutional institutions", he alleged. He claimed that government "misused" the CBI to keep some of its allies, whose leaders are facing disproportionate assets cases, under control. The Congress-led government "always controls the political activities of the political parties by misusing CBI against those leaders who are facing CBI cases," Jaitley charged. Hitting out at the government's policies, he said that while prices have come down around the world, in India the government has failed to control them. "It is theory of economics that prices go down during recession and prices are in control in other parts of the world. But see the failure of this government. "There has been a rise of 17 to 19 per cent in prices of foodgrains while foodgrains are rotting in government godowns and being eaten by rats," he said.
Jaitley also attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that despite being an economist, he does not have any idea how to control prices. "When he is asked today what will happen to the skyrocketting prices, he said, 'I hope prices will come down'," Jaitely said adding that each minister of the government raises hopes, but prices soar high. On Maoist menace, he said Congress-led government is now in dilemma whether it should adopt a "strict" policy or a "soft" policy against Naxals as there has been differences of opinion over the issue within the alliance. "The Prime Minister says that Maoist violence has become the biggest problem in this country. During UPA-I, government was incapable of understanding this problem. During UPA-II, initially it appeared that it will take some steps but the situation with this government is now that each leader speaks against the government's policy," he said.
"First, a Congress general secretary spoke against the government's policy. Then other leaders and finally came the situation that Congress president too wrote a letter to Congress workers against the government's policy," Jaitley claimed. On the UPA's foreign policy, he alleged that government was working at the behest of "foreign powers". "Foreign policy is now adopted at the behest of foreign powers. Atalji's foreign policy was that no talks will be held with Pakistan till it uses its soil (in sponsoring terror) against India. But UPA's policy is that it will continue with the dialogue process with Pakistan even as the latter continues to sponsor terror from its soil," he said. "The situation with this government is that one of its ministers speaks in favour of Chinese companies. The home minister says he has limited power bestowed on him by the cabinet to fight against Maoism," he added.
Jaitely said the year gone by saw the opposition make one achievement. "We came out with flying colours in Parliament in the test to determine which is the real opposition in this country and which is the fake," he said. He also said the year witnessed the advent of a "new generation of leadership" in BJP, referring to party president Nitin Gadkari. "I think if first year was the year of disappointment for this government, BJP had a year of good leadership, year of struggle and the coming years will be of more challenges," he said.