Prime Minister’s office has been devalued, charges Advani (Lead)

November 21st, 2008 - 8:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani Friday said the prime minister’s office had been “devalued over the last few years” and charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of turning a blind eye to corruption.“There can be no Congress president more important than the prime minister. Over the last few years the office of the prime minister has been devalued. 7 Race Course Road (the prime minister’s official residence) has to be more important than 10, Janpath (resident of Congress president Sonia Gandhi),” said Advani while responding to a query on why he had described Manmohan Singh as a weak prime minister.

“The prime minister has turned a blind eye on the blatant use of authority and shocking level of corruption, which is never seen before in India,” said Advani at the Hindustan Times leadership summit.

“There has been no consultation with the opposition.”

Delving on differences between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the current government, Advani said “the United Progressive Alliance is not a coalition but a collection functioning without any fear of the prime minister. Any minister is doing whatever he want wants without caring for the authority of the prime minister.”

“There is a difference in political functioning. The NDA was cohesive with Vajpayeeeji as the supreme authority.”

Referring to the international financial crisis, Advani said the present ruling coalition had inherited a 8.5 percent economic growth but will demit office with no more than seven percent economic expansion.

“We shall take all those measures necessary to reinstate the confidence of the people within six months,” said the senior BJP leader, adding this was the response to those who were asking him what his immediate priorities would be.

“I believe in times of current crisis, hurting though it is, we can make most of the opportunity to take a leap forward.”

“Let me sum up by saying that if NDA gets the mandate, the future of economy and governing strategy will be radically different from the incumbent UPA government,” he added.

“Within the first six months, we will aim at stars.. in every sphere of national accomplishment - both social and economic.”

Advani also reiterated what he told top industrialists Thursday - that he was deeply concerned that the economic slowdown was creating insecurity and fear among the poor and the middle classes.

“The point I wish to make is that a nation’s economy is like its eco-system. If there is a fire in the forest, it not only burns the trees but also endangers birds, insects and micro-organisms. Therefore, we must quickly put down this fire called the economic crisis,” he said during the two-hour meeting with the industrialists.

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