Bharatiya Janata Party
National Executive Meeting
12-13 June, 2010
Resolution on One Year of UPA II – A year of disappointment and non-achievement
The UPA Government at the centre has completed one year in its second tenure. Like the general unsatisfactory record of the UPA I; the first year of UPA II has equally been a year of disappointment and non-achievement. Chaos, confusion, compromise, corruption, inconsistency and incoherence have been the only distinguishing feature. Declarations have been made but delivery has been very poor. The only achievement is that it has remained in power even though with a slender majority in the Lok Sabha and minority in the Rajya Sabha; by making compromises with allies on issue of corruption and managing certain vulnerable sections of the Opposition.
On his assumption of office for the second time in May 2009, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has declared the first 100days agenda of his Government. Containing price rise was on the top of this agenda. Now after completion of 365 day there is no sign of inflation coming down. The common man continues to suffer as the whole sale price index remains close to double digit whereas the inflation of food prices is at a high of 17-19%. Now it is close to three years that the prices have been rising and that too under a Government headed by an economist like Dr. Manmohan Singh. Gross mismanagement of food economy by the UPA Government is directly responsible for food inflation. The Government has patronised the interest of middle man at the cost of the farmer and the common man. The massive irregularity in the operation of the commodity exchange and the policy relating to export and import of food grain and food products bear ample proof of the same. Food grain stocked in Government godowns are rotting while its availability in the market at affordable price continues to remain problematic.
It is a matter of great satisfaction that during the NDA regime under the Prime Ministership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee prices remained under control and these were available in plenty. Both the farmers and the consumers were happy and this sound management of food economy was achieved in spite of many natural calamities. The Congress Party led Central Government lacks the will to control inflation. It has failed to explain to the nation why the food economy of surplus left by the NDA has been reduced to an economy of scarcity and inflation.
Unsatisfactory state of infrastructure and agriculture
The state of infrastructure and agriculture remains very unsatisfactory. The National Highway programme was a great success story of the NDA regime under the Prime Ministership of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In fact, the success rate was 71% against the target which further rose to 81% in the year 2004-05 because of the good ground work done during the NDA regime. During the UPA I it got almost derailed because of chronic delays, ad-hocism, lack of monitoring and corruption in decision making leading to adverse comment even by the Planning Commission and the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General). It was claimed that against the NDA target of construction of 11 km of road per day now 20 km of road will be constructed during UPA II. The claim remains only on paper. The Planning Commission has revised the target from 20km to 6km per day. According to the Commission’s report on Highways development for the year 2009-10, the Ministry could spent only Rs.11608 crores against the target of Rs. 29934.67 crores (nearly 30,000 crores) i.e. just about a meagre 40%.
The entire power sector, so crucial for growth is in real mess. The PMO itself is aware of the highly unsatisfactory performance of the power sector. It is to be noted that in the 5 year period 1998-2003 (during the NDA regime) the Ministry of Power played a pivotal role in the reform process culminating in the bipartisan support for the Electricity Act 2003. The subsequent 5 years (UPA I) was itself described by the PMO in a note now available through RTI as “a half decade of missed opportunities” wherein the reforms impetus was virtually abandoned. The same continues even in the first years of UPA II where the power sector continues to under perform. In fact, persistent shortfalls on account of electricity generation, has held back our GDP growth.
The air transport constitutes a very important area of infrastructure. It is now increasingly evident that under the UPA II we are witnessing the virtual demise of Air India. The sickness which developed during UPA I has almost become cancerous during the 1st year of UPA II. The NDA govt. had initiated steps for "inter linking of rivers" Which would have solved the perennial problem of floods and drought in India. It would have also solved the power problem by generating 6000 MW of cheap by hydel power. The UPA has abandoned this project. In the year 2007 the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India was done and based upon the reports of the consultant we were told that the new merged entity would make a saving of 500 crores every year. Leave aside any turnaround after merger the accumulated loss of Air India today stands at Rs. 7200 crores and is likely to become Rs. 10000 crores by the next year. We hear frequent reports of accidents, chronic delays and collision between two aircrafts being averted at the last moment. Should not the UPA II take responsibility for the gross mismanagement of this critical sector?
Nearly 60% of the population is covered by and dependent upon the agriculture sector, yet it constitutes only approximately 17% of the GDP. The inflationary impact because of continued price rise is being very seriously felt on this sector. The agriculture income remains highly unsatisfactory without much improvement in the year 2009-10. In fact, as per as per the Annual GDP date released on May 31, 2010 the agriculture income has grown by a meagre 0.7% i.e. it continues to remain poor. Till date, the UPA II has not unfolded any elaborate and comprehensive plan coupled with sound delivery mechanism to address the chronic problem of agriculture sector, so crucial for growth. The suicide of farmers continues unabated. Many of the announcements and relief are not able to address the concerns of poor farmers.
Confusion and uncertainty looms large about the exact number of BPL (below the poverty line) families, which information is very crucial for a whole range of social development programmes including food security. As per the Planning commission 27.3% of the rural household are below the poverty line. The N C Saxena expert group appointed by the Government, based on calorie intake estimated that 50% of rural household are living below the poverty line. The Arjun Sengupta Commission (The National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector) found that 77% of the population lived on less than Rs. 20/- a day and therefore this should be the basis for BPL. The Suresh Tendulkar Committee concluded that 37.2% of the country’s population is below the poverty line. It is to be noted that the United Nations Development Index has placed India at a rank of 132 even below Bhutan. The Global Hunger Index of International Food Policy Research has placed India at the 65th position from amongst 88 developing countries. Obviously, there has to be clarity about the exact number of BPL families in the absence of which any notion of food security would be meaningless. The UPA II is yet to formally declare as to what is exact number of BPL families.
It is very surprising that employment generation now has become a very low priority area for the UPA. Earlier it used to boast to give one crore job to unemployed youth every year. Now it has stopped even mentioning that because of a very dismal record. Large scale unemployment both in urban and rural areas continues to create uncertainty for millions of young people and the UPA II continues to remain indifferent.
The autonomy and independence in the management of India’s foreign policy seems to have become a casualty in the first year of UPA II. The firmness with which India used to stand up to international pressure on strategic issues is lacking. The Sharm-El-Sheikh joint declaration was not only a shame for the country but was contrary to the January 2004 joint declaration between the then Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the then President Musarraf wherein Pakistan for the first time acknowledged that it shall not permit its territory to be used for terror attacks against India. In Sharm-El-Sheikh the biggest blunder was committed by bringing in the reference to Baluchistan. Now, the UPA has decided much against the strategic interest of India that dialogue with Pakistan shall go on irrespective of any action being taken by Pakistan against terrorist operating from across the border for terror attacks on India. India’s conventional stand has been abandoned. American pressure was evident in India’s role at Copenhagen in the ministerial conference on climate change. The US pressure is again evident in the hurried manner in which Civil Nuclear Liability Bill has been prepared and introduced. In the context of only public sector being allowed in India to operate nuclear plants there does not seem to be any relevance of the Bill. If it is designed to safeguard the interest of American supplier of nuclear power plant then there has to be adequate provisions for proper compensation and criminal liability in case of any accident. The life of an Indian is not cheap in comparison to any American or, anybody else. The gross injustice which the victims of Union Carbide gas tragedy in Bhopal have suffered must make us all alive to this critical aspect. The BJP demands that all requisite steps must be taken for expeditious justice to the victims of Bhopal tragedy.
Soft on terrorism
The UPA II like UPA I is soft on terror. It continues to give repeated signal to terrorist and their patrons both within the country and across the border that strong action against them is tradable for votes. The most shameful confirmation for this is the public acknowledgement by the Chief Minister of Delhi Smt. Sheila Dixit that she was pressurised by the former Home Minister Mr. Shivraj Patil not to take any action on the plea of pardon of Afjal Guru whose death sentence was confirmed even by the Supreme Court, in one of the worst terrorist attack on the Parliament. The file was delayed for more than three years. The General Secretary of the Congress Party Mr. Digvijay Singh visited the families of the terrorists in Azamgarh who were killed in the Batala House in Delhi. A brave Police officer Mohan Lal Sharma was killed by the terrorist in the encounter there. Yet, the Congress General Secretary and many Ministers of the Cabinet continue to raise question about the entire incidents purely for vote bank politics. India has weakened its position in pressurising Pakistan on the issue of cross border terrorism. India is eager to talk with Pakistan in spite of dismal cooperation for action against the terrorists who had masterminded the 26/11 Mumbai attack from Pakistan. In the trial of 26/11 there is only one conviction and no significant action has been taken against the handlers in Pakistan who planned and executed it. The gross failure of the Indian investigative and intelligence agencies in not being able to discover the role of David Hadley on their own in the planning of 26/11 only shows how vulnerable we are.
Maoist continues to kill and massacre with impunity. Information of linkage between terrorists groups and the Maoist only highlights the serious challenge we all face.
The first year of UPA II has once again shown the inability of the Prime Minister to take any action much less strong action on notorious cases of corruption. The slow down in the execution of National Highway Project is also attributable to corruption and extraneous influence in the award of contract. The national exchequer suffered a loss of about Rs. 60000/- crores in the allocation of 2G spectrum and now when the CBI in the investigation has found the allegation to be substantially true, the Prime Minister is unable to exert his authority and remove the Minister concerned. Ministerial lobbing for an IPL cricket franchise or for Chinese companies has now become the acceptable behaviour of the UPA in spite of serious issues of impropriety. Minister continues to be attacked publicly by their colleague in the Cabinet.
The unashamed misused of CBI has become a permanent feature of the UPA governance whether it is UPA I or, UPA II. A legally vulnerable judgement by the Trial Court exonerating RJD leader Shri Laloo Prasad in the disproportionate assets case was not allowed to be challenged by the CBI in spite of serious recommendation by the CBI itself to file the appeal. The same CBI was made to challenge the order of the High Court accepting the appeal of the State of Bihar. Even after the Supreme Court judgement that only the CBI can challenge the judgement, no appeal was allowed to be filed. Shri Laloo Prasad in spite of phoney opposition on price rise was too willing to support the UPA directly or, indirectly during the voting on cut motions. The dilution of CBI case was used as a tool to get the support of Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav when the left withdrew support during UPA I and that of Ms. Mayawati and the BSP during the cut motion by the UPA II. Even authorised and un-authorised phone tapping was resorted to manage and tackle the Opposition. Lobbyists continue to operate inside and outside the Government.
The Role of the BJP
In the last one year, the BJP has demonstrated with renewed vigour that it is only the BJP, which has exposed the anti-people policy and governance of the UPA II and is capable of occupying and strengthening the genuine non UPA space along with its allies. For the BJP the last one year has been particularly significant. We have a new President and a new leadership in both House of the Parliament. The Party organisation has been restructured down to the States. It has a powerful presence and its activities are spread across the country. The Party cadre have been continuously and consistently protesting against the failures of the UPA in all parts of India. In both Houses of Parliament we have succeeded in putting the Government on back foot on many occasions. In whichever State we are in power the BJP Governments have given a very good account of pro-people governance. The BJP is determined to fulfil the historic responsibility of a nationalist opposition.