Thursday, April 06, 2006
...UPA government is soft peddling on the NIS issue... From Statesman
Naveen takes swipe at UPA govt
Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, April 6: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik added an NDA flavour to a purely BJP platform during the Bharat Surakshya Yatra here today by addressing the public on the achievements of his government and the good governance during the NDA regime.
He took many, including his own partymen, by surprise by sharing the platform with BJP leaders. Perhaps conscious of the moment, Mr Patnaik spoke about the initiatives taken during the NDA rule under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee.
The contrast was sharp, Mr Patnaik dwelt on his government’s achievements ~ Mission Shakti, Pani Panchayat and other rural development schemes, which had very little to do with the Hindutva theme of most of the other speakers.
“We have been focusing on rural development and progress of the state over the last six years,” he said. The NDA government had registered an eight per cent growth rate, besides developing highway infrastructure and rural roads through PMGSY, he said.
Orissa had benefited in terms of cyclone assistance, enhanced funding for KBK districts and plans to establish NIS, Mr Patnaik said. But the UPA government is soft peddling on the NIS issue, he alleged.
While Mr Patnaik spoke in Oriya (written in Roman script), his Jharkhand counterpart Arjun Munda delivered the speech in Oriya extempore, drawing much applause from the crowd.
Even Rajnath Singh spoke a few words in Oriya, while BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu apologised for not being able to speak in Oriya.
Mr Singh described Mr Patnaik as a popular chief minister, while Mr Naidu describes him as the darling of the people.
Mr Munda and Mr Raman Singh, the chief minister of Chhattisgarh, castigated the UPA government in their speeches.
They blamed the Centre for the increased terrorist and Naxalite activities in the country.
Mr Venkaiah Naidu said yatras were part of the Indian tradition and a way to reach out to the people.
He criticised the UPA government by saying —People are weeping, while the government is sleeping.
In his inimitable style, Mr Naidu said NDA had one leader and stood for the National Democratic Alliance whereas the UPA is an Ulta Pulta alliance. While the NDA regime had a Prime Minister, there is a PM, SPM (super prime minister), a UPM (ultra pm in the form of Lalu Yadav) and the CPI-M.”They have the Right which proposes, the Left which opposes and the mind which disposes without any direction,” he quipped.
Referring to the resignation of Mrs Sonia Gandhi, he said it was a drama enacted to preempt her disqualification.
Mr Naidu appealed to the Muslims to look back and see themselves how much they had benefited during the several decades of rule by Congress in this country.