June 09, 2011 10:35:17 AM
Staff Reporter | New Delhi
Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that the Congress-led UPA Government will not survive its full five-year term. Holding that the Government was suffering from severe ‘structural contradictions’, Jaitley said the Government lacked statecraft and the Prime Minister was getting invisible.
“The Government does not know the art of ruling. This Government is going to fall before 2014,” Jaitley said. Taking a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the BJP leader said, “In any democratic country, the Prime Minister is the leader of the country. Here you (Prime Minister) are running the show on the structure of a private company. You have a professional CEO and the owner is somebody else.” Jaitley was on Tuesday addressing a gathering of Delhi BJP at the Constitution Club in the Capital. He criticised the Prime Minister saying whenever there was any controversy, he tried to hush up the matter saying he was not aware.
In an apparent reference to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, he said the powers of the Government lie with a particular family, which does not have any accountability. “There is no power with the leadership of the Government. There is office but no authority. There is another leadership who has power but no accountability. And that is why this leadership keeps itself away from the responsibilities as per convenience. A Government cannot run like this. The Prime Minister is getting invisible,” he lamented. Arguing his point, Jaitley said in the event of a mistake, blame is always put on others and it is said the family was very angry.
Terming the Government as a ‘headless chicken’, the former Union Minister said there were two views in the Government on how to deal with Ramdev’s agitation. “One view was that there should be a political settlement of Ramdev’s agitation through talks. That is why four Cabinet Ministers went to the airport. The other view was to handle it through police and by use of force. There was a ‘fight among the FM and the HM’,” he said referring to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Home Minister P Chidambaram. “On one hand the government was holding talks with Ramdev and on the other hand, Digvijay kept levelling charges against Baba,” he added.
Jaitley claimed Mukherjee had favoured a political settlement of the issue while Home Minister P Chidambaram wanted use of force. “The Finance Minister was of one view while the Home Minister had a different view. That is why I termed the Government as a headless chicken,” he said. Slamming the Government for the crackdown on Ramdev and his followers, Jaitley said he never saw any incident where shelling of tear gas was resorted to on a crowd in a closed enclosure. “The Prime Minister’s statement following the police atrocity was the most unfortunate. How can he justify bursting tear gas shells to a crowd in a closed enclosure. The official or the Minister who had decided about it does not have authority to remain in office,” he maintained.
Jaitley also criticised the government for not giving permission to Anna Hazare to protest at Jantar Mantar, saying the people’s right to protest is being undermined. He, however, insisted the more the voice of protest is suppressed in a democracy, the stronger it becomes.