Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hit out at those making allegations against him saying ‘canards’ were being spread about the Congress and the government. “Canards are being spread about us. Every day astronomical sums are being mentioned as black money which can be brought back, nothing can be further from truth. The truth is that the UPA is committed to fighting the menace of corruption,” the Prime Minister said.
He said the UPA has delivered high growth rates. “We have delivered high growth rates and implemented programmes for social and economic inclusion on a scale never seen before. We have taken unprecedented steps to empower citizens,” Manmohan Singh said speaking at the Congress Working Committee meet.
The Prime Minister, however, said that the economy was going through bad times. “These are difficult times for the country and our economy. These are the times when our will and determination are being tested. We must stay the course. We must have faith in ourselves,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Sonia Gandhi also came out strongly in the Prime Minister’s defence at the Congress Working Committee meet. Sonia Gandhi attacked the Opposition and civil society for levelling “baseless” allegations against Manmohan Singh, government and Congress. “We will have to fight fiercely against such allegations which are part of a conspiracy,” Sonia said.
“Opposition and some other anti-Congress forces are making false allegations against the Prime Minister. The economic problems affecting aam admi (common man) are a challenge before us. Non-Congress governments are not cooperating in policies and programmes formulated by the Centre. We have to strengthen our organisation for the coming elections in Lok Sabha and many other states,” she said while addressing the Congress working Committee meeting on Monday.
Sonia also criticised partymen for infighting. “If we work towards strengthening the party, our growth will be two folds. Workers should not be demoralised. Party workers are ready to face any challenges. The organisation is not assessed by the performance of an individual but as a party,” she said.
Without referring to the petrol price hike, she said there have been economic challenges too that are impacting the common man. “The whole world was passing through a difficult phase and we have to face it and we are facing it”.
She said the report to the people brought out on the third anniversary on the UPA government was a “document of success inspite of the difficulties.”
Without directly referring to any particular issue, she utilised the occasion to criticise non Congress governments in the states alleging that they are not cooperating as is expected in a democracy in implementing the policies made by the Centre.
Sonia said that the party has to be strengthened at all levels ahead of a series of state elections as also the Lok Sabha polls in 2014.
“And for this, the most important thing is that we all work unitedly,” she said.