Full text of the Congress President's speech at the CPP General Body Meeting
Dr. Karan Singh,
I would like to begin by congratulating Prof P J Kurien who was elected Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha unanimously.
The last few weeks have been very troublesome for all of us, especially for all who cherish our society's age-old traditions of tolerance, amity and harmony. The traumatic violence in parts of Assam look many innocent lives and has driven thousands from their homes and destroyed their livelihoods. The guilty have to be brought to justice. At the same time, in the midst of this horrific tragedy there have been heart-warming instances when neighbours have helped and saved each other cutting across ethnic and religious identities.
This is not the time for partisan finger-pointing. The immediate need is for healing wounds and bringing about reconciliation among the communities that have been hurt so grievously. Every effort should be made to ensure that people still living in camps return to their homes and rebuild their lives as quickly as possible. Our frontal organizations have been active in relief and rehabilitation activities and I want to place on record our appreciation for what they are doing.
Equally painful — and unacceptable — was what happened thereafter in Mumbai, Bengaluru and in other parts of the country where talented and hard-working young men and women from the northeast were deliberately subjected to both physical and psychological assault. I am glad that the Lok Sabha spoke in one voice on their behalf. Like all our citizens, they have every Constitutional right to study, work and live in any part of our country in complete safety and security. The strictest possible action must be taken against those who deliberately seek to divide us, incite and provoke people by their incendiary speeches and aggressive actions. They have misused the social media for their hate-mongering causing havoc and spreading mass panic. No government can stand by and ignore such treacherous activities.
It is a matter of regret, of even shame, that at a time when serious issues are affecting our people and our country, 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 once again shows up the scant respect it has for democratic values. What else can we conclude when its senior-most leader refers to our government as "illegitimate", thereby mocking the people of India for the convincing mandate they have given us.
How many times will we have to witness this deliberate and cynical disruption that the BJP has made a habit of? I have said it many times before and I will say it again: the Government and the Prime Minister are always prepared for debate and discussion on any issue, on any CAG report, or, for that matter, any perceived shortcoming on their part. But the proper forum for this is an active 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. 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.
It is condemnable that when we need to work together across party lines to tackle serious issues facing the people like drought, price rise and the economic slowdown, the country's principal opposition party is acting with wanton irresponsibility. Its targeting of the Prime Minister on the coal issue is entirely politically motivated. The Prime Minister has laid a detailed statement on the coal issue in both Houses yesterday. That statement is clear, comprehensive and cogent. It completely exposes the BJP and its false propaganda. In addition to this, yesterday evening Chidambaramji with other colleagues has briefed members of parliament on this issue as well as on reservation in promotion for Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe.
Let me now turn to what our government has been doing to confront the emerging challenges. The monsoon has been deficient in a number of districts. Our government has acted swiftly and firmly and has extended full support to the states affected. Despite the difficult economic conditions we are facing, it has announced several measures to help the farmers in areas like agricultural credit, farm inputs, rural employment through MG-NREGA.
It is continuously monitoring the situation and is fully prepared to meet all eventualities. Even if there were to be a shortfall in agricultural production this year, the food stock situation is comfortable. Countries all over the world are facing troubled economic conditions, this in turn is also affecting us. Our focus, therefore must be to revive and sustain the momentum of high economic growth.
Many economic policies require a larger political understanding and agreement both within the UPA and with other political parties as well. We are striving sincerely for this consensus both within and outside the UPA. In a democracy, dialogue, debate and discussion is the only way forward. But the opposition, especially the principal opposition party, has to come forth and show a sense of responsibility.
Friends, we are now entering a period in which elections will consume much of our time. We have many achievements. We have nothing to feel defensive about. We are ready to face the challenges before us. 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.
>> The Royalty should be given a special Royal box
It is an insult to Indian pride and a sense of propriety (if there is any left) to address them as "Royals" ... except this airport, that chowk, or this uni or that sports stadium one after the other all over India are anointed with their names ... they are like parasites chomping away India's soul ...
What is our queen complaining about ? She doesn't participate in any discussions and never utters a word. Her son, the Prince, hardly ever turns up. He is probably somewhere abroad. The Royalty should be given a special Royal box to just dress up and sit. While the others provide the entertainment.
The link to Ysahwant Sinha's article provided by RSM is a must-read. Thanks for sharing.
>> The Congress lecturing us on the importance of parliament and the media echoing the sermon
Excellent article by Yashwant Sinha. Unfortunately, media heads like Vinod Mehta have become concubines of Congress. Service to Congress is more important to them than truth.
The Congress lecturing us on the importance of parliament and the media echoing the sermon.
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