‘UPA-II report card to rebuff policy paralysis criticism’

May 19th, 2012 - 6:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) The United Progressive Alliance-II (UPA-II) government is set to release its third anniversary report card Tuesday, rebuffing the opposition’s oft-repeated criticism about policy paralysis and highlighting achievements, including steps to curb corruption.

The report to people would be released at a function at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official residence May 22 in the presence of leaders of constituent parties, party sources said Saturday.

Parties supporting the government from outside are also expected to be invited at the event.

The past year has not been easy for the government as it has battled several challenges, including volatility in external economic conditions, criticism about policy paralysis, the opposition allegations about Home Minister P. Chidambaram’s role in 2G spectrum scam, and civil society attacks on the UPA’s anti-corruption credentials.

Apprehensions about slow decision making in defence purchases, downslide in GDP growth rate and recurring violence by Maoists have also emerged as other problems.

The Congress has also been facing difficulties in taking a decision on the demand for statehood for Telangana and getting its allies on board on decisions such as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail.

Its poor performance in four of five states that went to polls earlier this year has added to the feeling that the party needs to reach out to people with its achievements in a much more concerted way.

Congress sources said that the report will seek to dispel doubts about effectiveness of the government and list out its accomplishments.

Meanwhile, the party has asked its MPs to forcefully and confidently speak about UPA-II’s achievements.

The intention of the leadership to aggressively portray the UPA government’s achievements was conveyed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the meeting of Congress parliamentary party earlier this month where she told the party MPs that there is lot for the government to show.

The Congress is expected to devote its energies to the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh later this year but its immediate priority is getting a candidate of its choice elected as the next president of the country.

In the coming months, the party will also need to make a choice about its nominee for the vice president’s post.

Meanwhile, several key legislations, pitched as landmark initiatives of UPA-II, are yet to be passed. These include the food security bill, Lokpal bill and the land acquisition bill. With two years remaining for the next general elections, the government is expected to fast-track legislations in the coming months.

Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said that the government’s performance has been “very good” and it has tackled the challenges tactfully.

“Whether it is allegation of corruption against a few ministers or challenges on economic front, the government has tackled them boldly,” Ahmed told IANS.

He said one big achievement of the government has been the sharp decrease in the number of terror incidents.

Congress leaders claimed that the report to people will help silence criticism about policy paralysis.

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