"The UPA has returned the nation to even keel, to the course set by the leaders of our national movement for freedom," Singh said in the Lok Sabha, adding that the UPA was voted to office to provide the people with a "government that cares".
The Prime Minister's statement came shortly before the Speaker Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the House sine die after a three-month long Budget session and on the exact day, a year before, when 13 proved unlucky for the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA whose 'feel good' bubble burst.
Turning to the nearly three-week long Opposition boycott of Parliament, he said "I greatly regret the absence of the Opposition from Parliament. The Opposition has an honoured place in our system of governance and their absence from House detracts from the efficiency of our processes of governance."
Hoping that Opposition members were return to Parliament from the next session, he said "I can only express the hope that the next session would be a normal session and a more productive session."
On the Budget, he said his government was committed to building a more equitable and efficient economy. "Our priority is to create new wealth and new employment, to attract new investment and generate new knowledge, build a caring society and a competitive economy. That is our promise to our people," Singh said.
The Prime Minister expressed his worry on the manner in which "aspersions" were cast on the high office of the Lok Sabha Speaker and lauded Chatterjee for his patience, forbearance fair play and leadership in the conduct of the proceedings of the House. "Both Government and Opposition are obliged to play their respective roles to ensure that the system of checks and balances as envisaged by our founding fathers, functions effectively and efficiently for the common benefit of our peple," he said.
Highlighting the UPA's achievements, Singh said his Government had been able to create an international environment in which country's developmental priorities can be better addressed.