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`UPA Govt. has no faith in democracy'

Staff Correspondent


`It has given the go-by to the decencies and courtesies of democracy'

BELLARY: Sushma Swaraj, BJP leader and former Union Minister, has said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government does not have faith in democracy.

"During its (UPA's) one-year rule, one thing that has been established is that the Government has no faith in democracy. It has also given the go-by to the decencies and courtesies of democracy," she told presspersons here on Monday.

Campaigner for party

Ms. Swaraj, who is in the State to campaign for the party in the Shimoga Lok Sabha and Chamarajpet Assembly byelections, came to Bellary to attend the wedding of the daughter of B.K. Srinivas Murthy, a leading physician. Ms. Swaraj stayed with the Murthy family when she came to Bellary to contest the Lok Sabha election against the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, in 1999.

Citing the instances of government formation in Goa, Jharkhand and Bihar, Ms. Swaraj said the UPA Government had thrown all democratic norms to the wind. According to her, in Bihar the UPA Government decided to dissolve the Assembly even as Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (U) had mustered enough support and was about to stake his claim to form the Government.

Even on the development front, the UPA Government's achievement was nil. "Despite inheriting a booming economy, the achievement on the economic front is nil." So also on the international front, she said.

"For the first time, the country has seen two power centres in the Government: one without authority but with competence and the other with authority but without competence. This has put a big question mark on the effectiveness of the Government," she said. When asked to name the two power centres, she said that one was at 10 Janpath and the other was the Prime Minister. "Nobody can question the competence of the Prime Minister, but he has no authority," she said.

`Coincidence'

Referring to the byelections in the State, Ms. Swaraj said that going by the poll atmosphere, the people have decided to vote against `defectors.'

"It is a coincidence that except for the BJP candidate, all the other three candidates [in Shimoga] are defectors, and, incidentally, all the three had defected from the BJP. It is necessary to teach them a lesson if the democratic setup is to be strengthened," she said.

To a question, Ms. Swaraj said there are some problems in the party's Karnataka unit and efforts are on to resolve them.

Ms. Swaraj accused the Congress-led Government in the State of "doing anything and everything" to scuttle the growth of the BJP in Bellary. "Bellary has become an eyesore for them. They tried to dissolve the civic body, which is under the control of the BJP, and we got relief from the court," she said.

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