News4u-News Desk- Rejecting the talk about two power centres and differences between them, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said there is “collective leadership” between her and Manmohan Singh and “we all stand by” the Prime Minister who will complete his term.
Hailing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s performance over the last nine years, Sonia Gandhi hit out at the main Opposition BJP, saying it is playing “obstructionist” politics and stalling major people-oriented reforms measures like the Food Security Bill and Land Acquisition Bill.
Seeking to dispel the perception about disarray in the government, she said, “there has been a calculated effort in some quarters to deliberately falsify and create innuendos to spread misinformation and untruths… these have only one aim, that is to confuse, demoralise and thwart the government’s functioning.”
“There are no differences between the Prime Minister and me. There is collective leadership,” Sonia Gandhi told reporters at a function held to celebrate four years of UPA-II government.
The Prime Minister has been carrying his responsibilities with “great dignity” in the face of “unrelenting hostility”, she said.
Manmohan Singh, in turn, described Sonia Gandhi as a “source of inspiration” and said he always got support from her.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also echoed his mother’s sentiments, saying “There is no difference between the party and the government. There is no difference between Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister. This is creation of the Opposition.”
At the function, where UPA’s key outside ally Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav was conspicuous by his absence, Singh and Gandhi highlighted the appreciative work done by the government towards “just and inclusive” economic growth and addressing the needs of people, especially the weaker sections.
“We are not going to be deterred or distracted by the drummed up noise being created around us,” she said, adding, “we have much to be proud of, we will continue to look ahead with confidence, knowing that the people of the country will recognise the value of what we have accomplished.”
Expressing her firm support to Singh, Gandhi said he has been facing unrelenting attack and abuse from the Opposition.
She asserted that the UPA government and the Congress party and its coalition colleagues have been working closely and unitedly all these years. Gandhi said she did not need any reassurance about the Prime Minister.
Slamming the BJP for rubbishing his government’s performance, Singh said, “What else do you expect from a non-result oriented opposition?
There is lot of motivated criticism. Sometimes there are attempts to derail us.” On the prospects of UPA in the next elections, he said it should be left to the people. At the same time, he philosophically quipped, “sitaron ke aage jahan aur bhi hai (there is a world beyond the stars).”
These remarks have come against the backdrop of Opposition charge that Singh and Gandhi are not on the same page on policy issues.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj has said that whenever Singh announces a policy decision, the UPA Chairperson intervenes and gets it diluted to win applause.
Seeking to dispel the perception of gloom amid scams and controveries, the UPA report painted a rosy picture of the government’s performance during the last nine years, contending that the fruits of economic growth have reached both urban and rural areas.
The ‘Report to the People’, released by Singh and Gandhi, presented figures to highlight growth in employment and doubling of wages under MNREGA, three-fold increase in food subsidy, growth in social sector schemes and tele-density.
At the outset, Gandhi rejected the BJP’s contention that the UPA had nothing to celebrate as it is ridden by scams and controversies and accused it of having an “obstructionist” approach.