Sonia asks Congress to 'stand up and fight aggressively'

Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party, Sonia Gandhi prefaced her remarks by flagging the party is now 'entering a period in which elections will consume much of its time'

New Delhi: Accusing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of making 'political bread and butter' by holding Parliament to ransom by 'blackmail', a combative Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday took the battle to the opposition camp and asked her party to 'stand up and fight aggressively', reports PTI.
Rallying the party behind Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the coal block allocation issue, she accused BJP of acting with 'wanton irresponsibility'.
"We will not be deflected by the intemperate Congress bashing by the opposition. Let us stand up and fight. Fight with a sense of purpose and fight aggressively. We have many achievements. We have nothing to feel defensive about," Gandhi said.
Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) here, she prefaced the remarks by flagging the party is now 'entering a period in which elections will consume much of our time'.
With the Monsoon session nearly washed out over the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report issue, Gandhi laid the blame squarely on the BJP alleging that holding Parliament to ransom was the political bread and butter of the opposition party.
"It's targeting of the Prime Minister on the coal issue is entirely politically motivated. The Prime Minister has laid a detailed statement...That statement is clear, comprehensive and cogent. It completely exposes the BJP and its false propaganda," the Congress chief said.
She wondered as to "how many times will we have to witness this deliberate and cynical disruption that the BJP has made a habit of?" 
Gandhi asserted that the government and Prime Minister are always prepared for debate and discussion any issue, on any CAG report or for that matter on "any perceived shortcoming on their part".
"But the proper forum for this is an acting and involved Parliament, not one that is held to ransom by blackmail, which has become the political bread and butter of the BJP, much to the concern of even some of its allies".
The Congress President's remarks assume significance as they come in the backdrop of unease in some allies of BJP like JD-U over the continued disruption of Parliament.

In her first public response on the coal block allocation controversy that has paralysed Parliament with BJP adamant on the Prime Minister's resignation, Gandhi devoted a major part of her address targeting BJP.

"This attitude of 'our way or no way' makes a mockery of the vision of our founding fathers and of the Constitutional framework; they so painstakingly built for us. Parliament is not being allowed to function and fulfil its proper Constitutional role and duty. This is the handiwork of just one party - the BJP. This one again shows up the scant respect it has for democratic values," Gandhi said.

Gandhi, who is also the CPP Chairperson, took a dig at BJP leader LK Advani by remarking "what else can we conclude when its senior most leaders refers to our government as 'illegitimate', thereby mocking the people of India for the convincing mandate they have given us."

The Congress chief said that it was condemnable when there was need to work together across party lines to tackle serious issues facing the people like drought, price rise and economic slowdown, "the country's principal opposition party is acting with wanton irresponsibility".

In the backdrop of the government's move to bring FDI in multi-brand retail facing stiff opposition from some parties including UPA ally Trinamool Congress, Gandhi said, "Many economic policies require a larger political understanding and agreement both within the UPA and with other political parties as well."

She said that Congress was striving sincerely for this consensus both within and outside UPA. "In a democracy, dialogue, debate and discussion are the only way forward. But the opposition especially the principal opposition party, has to come forth and show a sense of responsibility."




5 years ago

Well . very good! it is the leader who leads. Why cant she herself stand up and fight ? She must come out and face the press. Will she?

RBI voices concern over 'too much' borrowings by government, people

According to Dr KC Chakrabarty, our government is borrowing too much and our country is borrowing too much


Chennai: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has voiced concern over 'too much' borrowing by the government, high inflation and fiscal deficit, reports PTI.


"Our government is borrowing too much and our country is borrowing too much. Our inflation is one of the highest among the emerging economies. We have the highest fiscal deficit, current account deficit and inflation," Reserve Bank Deputy Governor KC Chakrabarty said at a conference.


However, he said the "good news is that everybody is aware of the problems. Nobody is saying there is no problem. People say they will take action."


Stating that India had imported $60 billion worth of gold last year, he said, "if we had not imported this much gold, our current account deficit would have become surplus."


"We need to work hard at least for the next 20 years and we need to grow by around 10%. If we have to use this crisis as an opportunity, we must do all the right things...," he said, speaking at a conference here.


"Believe me, job is not a problem if we can educate our people. But if we are not able to educate the people, given the employment opportunities, the demographic dividend will become demographic disaster and that is also one of the dangers we must look into", he said.


India's strengths were its younger population and a financial system that was not that complex, among others, he said, adding "We need to consolidate on our strengths. We need to keep the banking sector strong".


SBI chairman presses for abolition of cash reserve ratio or CRR

Pratip Chaudhari, chairman of SBI defended his views on CRR saying that when the deputy governor (Dr Chakrabarty) was a bank chairman, he was asking for the same

Mumbai: Making a strong case for abolition of cash reserve ratio (CRR), country's largest lender, the State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Pratip Chaudhari on Tuesday said the banks were unable to use the resources more productively, which is lying with the central bank without any interest earning, reports PTI.


Though CRR, the amount of capital that banks park with the RBI, doesn't pay any interest to banks, RBI views it as a cushion against any liquidity crisis in the system.


Yesteday, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor Dr KC Chakrabarty had said that banks had to work in the regulatory environment of the country.


"If the SBI chairman is not able to do business as per our regulatory environment, he has to find some other place," Dr Chakrabarty said in a sharp reaction to Chaudhuri's recent comment that CRR does not help anybody and it was unfairly put on banks.


However, Chaudhari, chairman of SBI also defended his views on CRR saying that when the deputy governor was a bank chairman, he was asking for the same.


Chaudhari also said that when the CRR rate was high and GDP was low, there was a strong inverse co- relationship.


He also said if CRR is a inflation tool, then other sectors like insurance and NBFC should also have such norm.


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