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General PM invokes Sikh Guru's battle cry

Discussion in 'Hard Talk' started by Archived_Member16, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Archived_Member16

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    PM invokes Sikh Guru's battle cry while moving trust motion

    NEW DELHI, JULY 21 (PTI) :


    A Sikh guru's battle cry was today invoked by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to affirm that he would not be deterred from the path of "good work", as he sought a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha today.

    "Deh siva var mohe, shubh karman te kabhu na darru. Na daru arso jab jaye ladoo, nischey kar apni jeet karun

    "Ar sikh hoon, apne he man so, ehi lalch ho, gun ton uchroon. Jab aav ki oodh nidhan bane, at hi run main tab joojh maroon," Singh said reciting a verse of Guru Gobind Singh at the end of his speech moving the motion. (Oh God almighty, give me strength that nothing could deter me from the path of good work. And when I go to the battlefield I must emerge the winner. Give me strength so that I don't get distracted. I should be the winner even if I have to loose my life.)

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    HINDUSTAN TIMES
    Indo-Asian News Service

    New Delhi, July 21, 2008



    Trust motion was fully avoidable, says Manmohan


    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought the confidence of the Lok Sabha on Monday and said the trust vote was avoidable as he had promised to return to the Parliament before operationalising the contentious nuclear deal with Washington.

    “It (trust motion) was fully avoidable," Manmohan Singh said as he moved the one-line motion seeking the trust of parliament for his government -- reduced to minority after the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left parties withdrew their legislative support in protest against the government’s move to carry the India-US civil nuclear deal forward.

    "I have repeatedly assured all, including the Left parties, that I myself would come to the guidance of parliament before operationalising the nuclear deal, if we were allowed to go to the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) to finalise the India-specific safeguards agreement),” said Manmohan Singh.

    He said he regretted that the government had to seek a trust vote at a time its attention was on the economy, especially on controlling inflation and "implementing the welfare programmes for the people, particularly the farmers".

    Interestingly, the prime minister was not expected to speak after moving the trust motion. According to his personal aides, Manmohan Singh, who arrived at his parliament house office at around 10.30 a.m., wrote the brief speech himself.

    The prime minister reiterated that he and his government had taken all the decisions in the best interests of the Indian people.

    "I assure the house and the country that every single decision, every policy decision was taken in the fullest confidence that it was in the best interest of the people of the country.”

    After moving the motion - “that this house expresses its confidence in the council of ministers" - Manmohan Singh reminded the house that unlike his predecessors it was for the first time his United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government that had completed four years and two months in office was facing a trust vote.

    In what is being seen as a snipe at the CPI-M’s present leadership, especially its general secretary Prakash Karat, Manmohan Singh praised the "sagacity, wisdom and visionary leadership" of communist veterans Jyoti Basu and Harkishan Singh Surjeet who he said were the architects of the coalition government.

    The prime minister also cited Guru Gobind Singh for showing his determination to go ahead without being scared of the repercussions.

    In an uncharacteristic intervention, Manmohan Singh countered Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani’s criticism over his stance on the nuclear tests of 1998.

    “The leader of opposition has said that in 1998 I had opposed the test and that I was arguing for nuclear proliferation during my speech in the Rajya Sabha. Let an objective person read the test of my speech and conclude …,” he said, while intervening during Advani's speech.

    He added he had made his comments on the nuclear tests in the context of non-proliferation goals that India had put forward in the UN in 1988.

    “We all were opposed to the sanctions (imposed on India after the Pokharan test). What I said was that we must prepare our country to face the sanctions.”


    http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/Print.aspx?Id=7482e1b2-50fa-4ff3-9bbc-8379ade7a81a
    © Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times
     
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  3. Archived_Member16

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    Dhindsa accuses PM for ignoring interests of Sikhs and Punjab
    Punjab Newsline Network
    Monday, 21 July 2008


    CHANDIGARH; Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Secretary General of Shiromani Akali Dal and MP from Sangrur on Monday during his speech in the Parliament over nuclear deal accused Prime Minister Dr.Manmohan Singh for ignoring the interests of Sikhs and Punjab.

    Dhindsa who spoke on behalf of SAD on trust motion said that his party was being pressurised to support the trust motion because Dr.Manmohan Singh is first Sikh Prime Minister of India. He said that SAD had also celebrated the appointment of first Sikh PM of this country but unfortunately Dr.Manmohan Singh has done nothing of the sort for Sikh community and Punjab which can influence Akali MP's to support him.

    He said that SAD center government under Dr.Manmohan Singh had not given fair deal to farmers of the state. They are committing suicides and we cant allow the farmers to die because our PM is Sikh, he commented. He added that PM has failed to give any industrial package to Punjab well knowing that agriculture was failing and is not profitable. He said that when agriculture minister can give lot to his state Maharashtra, why PM cant give to his state.

    Dhindsa said that SAD had demanded to implement Anandkaraj Act to solemnise the Sikh marriages but demand was not accepted. He said that Congress government at center tried to dilute the powers of SGPC which controls Sikhs shrines in Punjab, HP and Haryana. He said that Congress tried to set up separate SGPC for Haryana. He also raised the issues of decreasing ratio of Sikhs in the army. He asked the PM what he had done for his state?

    He said that SAD was under no obligation to support the PM for simple reason that he was a Sikh. He said that Punjab deserved a better dealing under his Prime Minister ship.

    Dhindsa however supported that India needed nuclear energy and SAD is in its favour. he however said that that UPA government led by Congress has failed to satisfy the opposition and people of country on certain issues related to nuclear status of India. He said that armed forces were frustrated because of report of sixth pay commission. How can government accept that frustrated armed forces would be ready for nuclear war, if it happened.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Punjab BJP president in favour on setting up nuclear power plant in state

    GURPREET SINGH MEHAK - Punjabinewsline
    Monday, 21 July 2008


    FATEHGARH SAHIB: Punjab BJP president Rajinder Bhandari is in favour of setting up a nuclear power plant in the state.

    While speaking to media persons at Mandi Gobindgarh on Monday after participating in a three days state level meeting of R.S.S., Bhandari said that there is urgent need of setting up a nuclear power plant in the state to make Punjab free from power shortage. He said the plant will not only fulfill power requirement of the state but it will also produce surplus power.

    He said due to summer there is much consumption of power so power shortage is natural but SAD-BJP alliance government is making all efforts to provide adequate power to people.

    Bhandari said SAD-BJP alliance had won election in 93 municipalities of the state and president will be elected in municipalities as per alliance winners. Where BJP had upper hand, the president will be elected from BJP and where SAD is upper hand, the council president will be elected from SAD, he added.

    He clarified that in Mandi Gobindgarh president will be of SAD and vice president will be of BJP. Commenting on Dera Sacha Saudha controversy, Bhandari said BJP want peace in state and BJP never like violence.

    He said if the UPA government could not manage to stay, BJP is ready for election. On this occasion, Manoranjan Kala, Minister for Local Bodies said that election in almost all municipalities will be held before July 23. He claimed that in all councils president will be from SAD-BJP alliance and there is no controversy over the selection. District BJP president Lal Chand Jindal, BJP SC Morcha state president Dharampal Rao was also present on the occasion.
     
  4. Archived_Member16

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    India vote debate adjourned over bribery charges

    From Reuters

    Tue, 22 Jul 2008 11:26:03


    By Bappa Majumdar

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A vote of confidence debate in India's parliament on Tuesday was adjourned after opposition lawmakers interrupted the session and waved wads of cash they said were offered as bribes to abstain

    The government is scheduled to face a confidence vote later on Tuesday that will decide the fate of a civilian nuclear deal with the United States and could trigger a snap election.

    Television channels estimated the Congress-led coalition that negotiated the deal would sneak home by half a dozen or more votes against its former communist allies and opposition parties led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
    But it was unclear when and if the vote would be held after opposition MPs interrupted proceedings by brandishing wads of cash, and demanding an inquiry.

    "This is not a case of corruption for a small favour. This is an important event for the House," BJP leader Lal Krishna Advani told reporters outside parliament. "I have to say that the House has to seriously take it up."

    Advani alleged the three opposition MPs were given a total of 10 million rupees (116,000 pounds) by government supporters as an advance payment for abstaining, and were offered much more.

    Congress said the allegations were baseless.

    "This is all a drama, and it has been planted deliberately by the people who know they have lost the vote," said Congress spokesman Ashwini Kumar. "We are seriously looking into the allegations but the opposition knows we will win so they are resorting to such activities."

    Accusations of horse-trading have swirled for days as both sides try to attract the support of smaller, regional or caste-based parties.

    MARKETS RALLY

    Investors are expecting a narrow win for the government, and bookmakers also favour the government.

    That feeling has helped shares recover after a string of losses, the main share index rising by more than 10 percent in the last three sessions and a further 1.8 percent on Tuesday.

    If the government falls there will probably be an election this year. It is also likely to lead to the scrapping of the civilian nuclear agreement and throw economic policy into limbo just as inflation rises to a 13-year-high.

    Prime Minister Manmohan Singh moved the confidence motion with a brief address on Monday, and is scheduled to make a full defence of the nuclear deal and his government's record in a concluding speech.

    But that speech, expected around 5 p.m. (12:30 p.m. British time), is now likely to be delayed.

    Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, in a speech frequently interrupted by shouting from the opposition benches, defended the government's record and said nuclear power was vital if the country was to emulate the economic success of China.

    "This government under Dr. Manmohan Singh's leadership is charting out a new path which will end India's nuclear isolation, which will pave the way for India becoming an economic superpower," he said. "I ask this house to give a resounding vote of confidence."

    The nuclear deal would grant India access to foreign nuclear fuel and technology, unlocking $40 billion (20 billion pounds) in investment over the next 15 years, according to an Indian business lobby group.

    But the communists withdrew their support for the government in protest over the deal, saying it made India a pawn of Washington. The BJP says the nuclear deal limits India's ability to test nuclear weapons.

    The vote is so close several MPs who are ill were being flown or wheeled in on hospital beds, and others, in jail for crimes such as murder and extortion, have been granted temporary release and arrived at parliament on Tuesday in prison vans.

    A government defeat would be a boost for the BJP, which has won a string of state elections this year against a backdrop of rising inflation and criticism that millions of poor Indians were not benefiting from the booming economy.

    It would also boost the standing of Mayawati, leader of an increasingly influential party drawing much of its support from Dalits, formerly known as "untouchables".

    Mayawati is trying to project herself as a third force and possible prime minister and has tried to wean away votes from the government.

    BJP leader Advani said his party did not oppose nuclear cooperation or a strategic relationship with the United States, but said the nuclear deal made India "a subservient partner".

    (Editing by Alistair Scrutton)
     
  5. spnadmin

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    Soul_Jyot ji

    Thanks for following this closely. In fact, I am now understanding better the controversy Advani has stirred up in other quarters earlier in the month viz his autobiography. Lots of puzzle pieces and in time they all get discovered at the bottom of the box.
     
  6. Archived_Member16

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    Indian government wins confidence vote over U.S. nuclear deal


    Associated Press
    July 22, 2008 at 11:18 AM EDT


    NEW DELHI — India's government has survived a confidence vote, clearing the way for it to finalize a landmark nuclear energy deal with the United States.

    The government won with 275 voting for it and 256 against. The number of abstentions was not immediately clear.

    The vote capped a week of intense politicking that saw the government rename an airport for a legislator's father, promise a high-level job to another, and — rival politicians allege — hand out millions of dollars to many others in an effort to survive.
    Both sides did whatever they could to muster their forces.

    One ailing legislator was wheeled in on a gurney, and a handful jailed for crimes ranging from murder to extortion were temporarily released from prison so they could vote.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    UPA Govt wins the trust vote



    Expressindia.com
    Tuesday , July 22, 2008


    [SIZE=+0]Prime Minister Manmohan Singh won a vote of confidence in the Lok Sabha with a comfortable margin belying predictions of a close contest on a day marred by unseemly scenes over allegations of bribery. [/SIZE]


    [SIZE=+0]The Prime Minister's motion expressing confidence of the House in the Council of Ministers was carried with 275 votes in favour and 256 against. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]In a House with an effective strength of 541, it was not immediately clear how many abstained. The results were announced after nearly an hour when officials corrected the initial figures which showed 253 votes in favour of the motion, 232 against and 2 abstentions in a total vote of 487. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]In the din caused by BJP members demanding Prime Minister's resignation and shouting down his speech, Singh laid his reply to the debate on the table of the House. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]As Opposition members pressed for a division, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee ordered voting by electronic voting machine. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]Even before the final result was announced, ruling alliance members went to the Prime Minister and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to greet them on the victory in the confidence motion, the first in over four years of this government. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]The Prime Minister sought the confidence of the House after the Left parties, which provided outside support since May 2004, withdrew it on the issue of government operationalising the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal by approaching the IAEA. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]The two-day debate on the motion was often acrimonious but it took an entirely different turn after BJP members shocked the House by producing bundles of currency notes alleging bribes by the Samajwadi Party to them to abstain from voting. [/SIZE]

    [SIZE=+0]Four BJP members, including former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, were permitted to vote from the inner lobby of the House through slips on account of their ill-health. [/SIZE]
     
  7. Archived_Member16

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    India's Outstretched Hand
    New Delhi does its part to salvage a nuclear pact; now it's Congress's turn

    [SIZE=-1]WASHINGTON POST (USA) - Wednesday, July 23, 2008[/SIZE]

    UNTIL RECENTLY, it seemed that an ambitious Bush administration bid to restore nuclear cooperation between the United States and India might be dead, a victim of domestic Indian politics. Anti-American communist parties that support Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's centrist government were blocking the deal. But Mr. Singh took a bold risk to salvage the pact, trading communist support for that of a smaller regional party in hopes of assembling a new majority. Yesterday the gamble paid off, as Mr. Singh's government survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote. Now, the question is whether the pact can survive the American political process.

    There isn't much time; under U.S. law, Congress must be in session continuously for 30 days to consider the deal. Before that clock can start, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group must give India a green light. While those approvals are likely, they won't happen instantaneously. And because of the long August recess, there may not be more than 30 "legislative days" left before Congress adjourns on Sept. 26. The deal raises many legitimate questions. But, on balance, it is in the United States' interest, and Congress should find the time to say yes -- in a lame-duck session after the November election, if necessary.

    U.S. nuclear cooperation with India ceased when India, which had refused to sign the 1968 Non-Proliferation Treaty, exploded a nuclear "device" in 1974. The sanctions were intended to show India, and the world, that there was a price to be paid for flouting the treaty. Times change, though, and the Bush administration's logic is that the benefits of a "strategic partnership" with India outweigh the risks of waiving the old rules. If booming India uses more nuclear energy, it will emit less in greenhouse gases. Unlike Pakistan, India has developed its nuclear arsenal without leaking materials or know-how to others. Perhaps the fact that India is a democracy that shares not only values but interests -- checking China, fighting Islamist terrorism -- with the United States matters more than its signature on a treaty. It's a bet worth making, especially since the agreement creates more international supervision of India's nuclear fuel cycle than there would be without it.

    To be sure, it is a risk. The deal weakens the U.S. threat to cut off uranium if India conducts another nuclear test. India's economic ties and military-to-military contacts with Iran are worrisome, as is its stubborn habit of taking "nonaligned" stances against U.S. interests. But the fact that Mr. Singh successfully ditched the communists for the sake of closer ties with Washington is a hopeful sign that the agreement is already inducing moderation. At this point, if Congress rejects the deal, the likeliest outcome -- in addition to much ill will in New Delhi -- is that India, freshly approved as a customer for technology and fuel by the IAEA and the Suppliers Group, will simply buy its planned 25,000 megawatts of nuclear capacity from France or Russia. After much delay, Mr. Singh has done his part; now it's Congress's turn.

    **************************************************************


    Ladoo-time in Amritsar as PM wins trust vote

    Varinder Walia

    Tribune News Service

    Amritsar, July 22

    Even as Jathedar, Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti has refused to comment on the winning of confidence vote by the Dr Manmohan Singh-led UPA government, Jathedar, Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh has congratulated the Prime Minister on this historic victory.


    Talking to The Tribune from Patna Sahib, Giani Iqbal Singh described Dr Manmohan Singh as a true and honest Sikh who had quoted hymns from Dasam Granth while seeking confidence vote on the floor of Parliament. However, Jathedar Vedanti, who had eulogised Dr Manmohan Singh earlier, today preferred to keep mum

    Meanwhile, Bhai Ranjit Singh, a former Jathedar, Akal Takht, has said it was moral defeat of the SAD which had failed to support the government of the first Sikh Prime Minister. He said it was ridiculous the SAD leadership had stated they could not support Dr Manmohan Singh merely on the basis that he was a Sikh.

    The former Jathedar said the SAD had been using Sikh religion for vested political ends and even the Dharm Yudh Morcha was launched from Akal Takht/ the Golden Temple. When it came to protect the government, led by a Sikh, they had committed a historic blunder.

    Meanwhile, there is lot of jubilation in the town, especially in the houses of Surjit Singh Kohli and Daljit Singh Kohli, brothers of the Prime Minister. They distributed ladoos to mark the victory.

    On the other hand, the BJP burnt the effigies of the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi in protest against bribe given to three BJP MPs.
    Congress leaders, led by Prof Darbari Lal, a former deputy speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, distributed ladoos in the morning much before the counting of votes. Manjit Singh Calcutta, a senior Akali leader and member of the SGPC expressed satisfaction over winning the confidence vote.
     
  8. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    Good for Manmohan Singh...he has shown he has the GUTS.
    BAD for the Akalis under Badal....they have shown they are slaves of BJP hindutva extremists
    when parties with just 3 votes bargained for and GOT what they wanted for their States..Badal with 8 didnt even bother to ASK...blindly parrotting the BJP BJP BJP slogan. Only One AKALI..showed his guts by abstaining...Historical opportunity to get Punajb Rights from Centre thrown away at BJP feet...aptly Shah muhammed has written..Ek "Sarkar " bajhon faujan jit ke antt nu harian ne...Punjab LOST.

    Gyani Jarnail Singh:happy:
     
  9. Archived_Member16

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    Hindustan Times
    Mumbai, July 23, 2008

    Thackeray praises Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

    The United Progressive Alliance government's victory in Tuesday's parliamentary trust vote has earned indirect approval from an unexpected quarter - Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray.


    In an editorial in his newspaper Saamna Wednesday, Thackeray said that Prime Minister Manmohan is a Sikh, steeped in the best traditions of the community's reputation for bravery.

    Sikhs never attack from behind but considering him as a weak PM, the opposition parties attacked him over the India-US nuclear deal.

    However, Thackeray noted that Singh not only emerged victorious from the attack but also returned it with "interest" by proving his government's majority in the parliament.
    The Sena chief said that the Left, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party and the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) got together with the single aim of toppling the government.

    But now that the government has survived, these parties have been scattered. They are going their separate ways and they seen to have abandoned their intentions of the country's good.

    Thackeray concluded "the country is not secure in the hands of such people" who believe that toppling the government and grabbing power is in the best interest of the nation.

    "The whole country has witnessed this," he said.



    http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/Print.aspx?Id=c2769db7-792a-4d06-8b94-d7f1bf9d9afb
    © Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times
     
  10. Canuck Singh

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    What is the story about the PM? I hear words scattered about 'puppet', 'waiting in the background' etc.

    Can anyone clear out the facts?:inca:
     
  11. spnadmin

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    PM's reply to the debate.

    Thursday, July 24th, 2008
    http://www.{url not allowed}/files/news/2008/July/LokSabha.jpg New Delhi - The Leader of Opposition, Shri L.K. Advani has chosen to use all manner of abusive objectives to describe my performance. He has described me as the weakest Prime Minister, a nikamma PM, and of having devalued the office of PM. To fulfill his ambitions, he has made at least three attempts to topple our government. But on each occasion his astrologers have misled him. This pattern, I am sure, will be repeated today. At his ripe old age, I do not expect Shri Advani to change his thinking. But for his sake and India's sake, I urge him at least to change his astrologers so that he gets more accurate predictions of things to come.

    As for Shri Advani's various charges, I do not wish to waste the time of the House in rebutting them. All I can say is that before leveling charges of incompetence on others, Shri Advani should do some introspection.
    Can our nation forgive a Home Minister who slept when the terrorists were knocking at the doors of our Parliament? Can our nation forgive a person who single handedly provided the inspiration for the destruction of the Babri Masjid with all the terrible consequences that followed?


    To atone for his sins, he suddenly decided to visit Pakistan and there he discovered new virtues in Mr. Jinnah. Alas, his own party and his mentors in the RSS disowned him on this issue. Can our nation approve the conduct of a Home Minister who was sleeping while Gujarat was burning leading to the loss of thousands of innocent lives? Our friends in the Left Front should ponder over the company they are forced to keep because of miscalculations by their General Secretary.


    As for my conduct, it is for this august House and the people of India to judge. All I can say is that in all these years that I have been in office, whether as Finance Minister or Prime Minister, I have felt it as a sacred obligation to use the levers of power as a societal trust to be used for transforming our economy and polity, so that we can get rid of poverty, ignorance and disease which still afflict millions of our people. This is a long and arduous journey. But every step taken in this direction can make a difference. And that is what we have sought to do in the last four years. How far we have succeeded is something I leave to the judgment of the people of India.

    When I look at the composition of the opportunistic group opposed to us, it is clear to me that the clash today is between two alternative visions of India's future. The one vision represented by the UPA and our allies seeks to project India as a self confident and united nation moving forward to gain its rightful place in the comity of nations, making full use of the opportunities offered by a globalized world, operating on the frontiers of modern science and technology and using modern science and technology as important instruments of national economic and social development. The opposite vision is of a motley crowd opposed to us who have come together to share the spoils of office to promote their sectional, sectarian and parochial interests. Our Left colleagues should tell us whether Shri L.K. Advani is acceptable to them as a Prime Ministerial candidate. Shri L.K. Advani should enlighten us if he will step aside as Prime Ministerial candidate of the opposition in favour of the choice of UNPA. They should take the country into confidence on this important issue.

    I have already stated in my opening remarks that the House has been dragged into this debate unnecessarily. I wish our attention had not been diverted from some priority areas of national concern. These priorities are :

    (i) Tackling the imported inflation caused by steep increase in oil prices. Our effort is to control inflation without hurting the rate of growth and employment.

    (ii) To revitalize agriculture. We have decisively reversed the declining trend of investment and resource flow in agriculture. The Finance Minister has dealt with the measures we have taken in this regard. We have achieved a record food-grain production of 231 million tones. But we need to redouble our efforts to improve agricultural productivity.

    (iii) To improve the effectiveness of our flagship pro poor programmes such as National Rural Employment Programme, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Nation-wide Mid day meal programme, Bharat Nirman to improve the quality of rural infrastructure of roads, electricity, safe drinking water, sanitation, irrigation, National Rural Health Mission and the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. These programmes are yielding solid results. But a great deal more needs to be done to improve the quality of implementation.

    (iv) We have initiated a major thrust in expanding higher education. The objective is to expand the gross enrollment ratio in higher education from 11.6 per cent to 15 per cent by the end of the 11th Plan and to 21% by the end of 12th Plan. To meet these goals, we have an ambitious programme which seeks to create 30 new universities, of which 14 will be world class, 8 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, 20 new IIITs, 5 new IISERs, 2 Schools of planning and Architecture, 10 NITs, 373 new degree colleges and 1000 new polytechnics. And these are not just plans. Three new IISERs are already operational and the remaining two will become operational from the 2008-09 academic session. Two SPAs will be starting this year. Six of the new IITs start their classes this year. The establishment of the new universities is at an advanced stage of planning.

    (v) A nation wide Skill Development Programme and the enactment of the Right to Education Act,

    (vi) Approval by Parliament of the new Rehabilitation and Resettlement policy and enactment of legislation to provide social security benefits to workers in the unorganized sector.

    (vii) The new 15 Point Programme for Minorities, the effective implementation of empowerment programmes for the scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, paying particular emphasis on implementation of Land Rights for the tribals.

    (viii) Equally important is the effective implementation of the Right to Information Act to impart utmost transparency to processes of governance. The Administrative Reforms Commission has made valuable suggestions to streamline the functioning of our public administration.

    (ix) To deal firmly with terrorist elements, left wing extremism and communal elements that are attempting to undermine the security and stability of the country. We have been and will continue to vigorously pursue investigations in the major terrorist incidents that have taken place. Charge-sheets have been filed in almost all the cases. Our intelligence agencies and security forces are doing an excellent job in very difficult circumstances. They need our full support. We will take all possible steps to streamline their functioning and strengthen their effectiveness.

    Considerable work has been done in all these areas but debates like the one we are having detract our attention from attending to these essential programmes and remaining items on our agenda. All the same, we will redouble our efforts to attend to these areas of priority concerns.

    I say in all sincerity that this session and debate was unnecessary because I have said on several occasions that our nuclear agreement after being endorsed by the IAEA and the Nuclear Suppliers Group would be submitted to this august House for expressing its view. All I had asked our Left colleagues was : please allow us to go through the negotiating process and I will come to Parliament before operationalising the nuclear agreement.

    This simple courtesy which is essential for orderly functioning of any Government worth the name, particularly with regard to the conduct of foreign policy, they were not willing to grant me. They wanted a veto over every single step of negotiations which is not acceptable. They wanted me to behave as their bonded slave. The nuclear agreement may not have been mentioned in the Common Minimum Programme. However, there was an explicit mention of the need to develop closer relations with the USA but without sacrificing our independent foreign policy. The Congress Election Manifesto had explicitly referred to the need for strategic engagement with the USA and other great powers such as Russia.

    http://www.{url not allowed}/files/news/2008/July/ManmohanSingh-225x300.jpg In 1991, while presenting the Budget for 1991-92, as Finance Minister, I had stated : No power on earth can stop an idea whose time has come. I had then suggested to this august House that the emergence of India as a major global power was an idea whose time had come.

    Carrying forward the process started by Shri Rajiv Gandhi of preparing India for the 21st century, I outlined a far reaching programme of economic reform whose fruits are now visible to every objective person. Both the Left and the BJP had then opposed the reform. Both had said we had ********d the economy to America and that we would bring back the East India Company. Subsequently both these parties have had a hand at running the Government. None of these parties have reversed the direction of economic policy laid down by the Congress Party in 1991. The moral of the story is that political parties should be judged not by what they say while in opposition but by what they do when entrusted with the responsibilities of power.

    I am convinced that despite their opportunistic opposition to the nuclear agreement, history will compliment the UPA Government for having taken another giant step forward to lead India to become a major power centre of the evolving global economy. Jawaharlal Nehru's vision of using atomic energy as a major instrument of development will become a living reality.
    What is the nuclear agreement about? It is all about widening our development options, promoting energy security in a manner which will not hurt our precious environment and which will not contribute to pollution and global warming.

    India needs to grow at the rate of at least ten per cent per annum to get rid of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease which still afflict millions of our people. A basic requirement for achieving this order of growth is the availability of energy, particularly electricity. We need increasing quantities of electricity to support our agriculture, industry and to give comfort to our householders. The generation of electricity has to grow at an annual rate of 8 to 10 per cent.

    Now, hydro-carbons are one source of generating power and for meeting our energy requirements. But our production of hydro-carbons both of oil and gas is far short of our growing requirements. We are heavily dependent on imports. We all know the uncertainty of supplies and of prices of imported hydro-carbons.

    We have to diversify our sources of energy supply.


    We have large reserves of coal but even these are inadequate to meet all our needs by 2050. But more use of coal will have an adverse impact on pollution and climate. We can develop hydro-power and we must. But many of these projects hurt the environment and displace large number of people. We must develop renewable sources of energy particularly solar energy. But we must also make full use of atomic energy which is a clean environment friendly source of energy. All over the world, there is growing realization of the importance of atomic energy to meet the challenge of energy security and climate change.

    India's atomic scientists and technologists are world class. They have developed nuclear energy capacities despite heavy odds. But there are handicaps which have adversely affected our atomic energy programme. First of all, we have inadequate production of uranium. Second, the quality of our uranium resources is not comparable to those of other producers.Third, after the Pokharan nuclear test of 1974 and 1998 the outside world has imposed embargo on trade with India in nuclear materials, nuclear equipment and nuclear technology. As a result, our nuclear energy programme has suffered. Some twenty years ago, the Atomic Energy Commission had laid down a target of 10000 MW of electricity generation by the end of the twentieth century. Today, in 2008 our capacity is about 4000 MW and due to shortage of uranium many of these plants are operating at much below their capacity.

    The nuclear agreement that we wish to negotiate will end India's nuclear isolation, nuclear apartheid and enable us to take advantage of international trade in nuclear materials, technologies and equipment. It will open up new opportunities for trade in dual use high technologies opening up new pathways to accelerate industrialization of our country. Given the excellent quality of our nuclear scientists and technologists, I have reasons to believe that in a reasonably short period of time, India would emerge as an important exporter of nuclear technologies, and equipment for civilian purposes.

    When I say this I am reminded of the visionary leadership of Shri Rajiv Gandhi who was a strong champion of computerization and use of information technologies for nation building. At that time, many people laughed at this idea. Today, information technology and software is a sun-rise industry with an annual turnover soon approaching 50 billion US dollars. I venture to think that our atomic energy industry will play a similar role in the transformation of India's economy.

    The essence of the matter is that the agreements that we negotiate with USA, Russia, France and other nuclear countries will enable us to enter into international trade for civilian use without any interference with our strategic nuclear programme. The strategic programme will continue to be developed at an autonomous pace determined solely by our own security perceptions. We have not and we will not accept any outside interference or monitoring or supervision of our strategic programme. Our strategic autonomy will never be compromised. We are willing to look at possible amendments to our Atomic Energy Act to reinforce our solemn commitment that our strategic autonomy will never be compromised.

    I confirm that there is nothing in these agreements which prevents us from further nuclear tests if warranted by our national security concerns. All that we are committed to is a voluntary moratorium on further testing. Thus the nuclear agreements will not in any way affect our strategic autonomy. The cooperation that the international community is now willing to extend to us for trade in nuclear materials, technologies and equipment for civilian use will be available to us without signing the NPT or the CTBT.

    This I believe is a measure of the respect that the world at large has for India, its people and their capabilities and our prospects to emerge as a major engine of growth for the world economy. I have often said that today there are no international constraints on India's development. The world marvels at our ability to seek our social and economic salvation in the framework of a functioning democracy committed to the rule of law and respect for fundamental human freedoms. The world wants India to succeed. The obstacles we face are at home, particularly in our processes of domestic governance.

    I wish to remind the House that in 1998 when the Pokharan II tests were undertaken, the Group of Eight leading developed countries had passed a harsh resolution condemning India and called upon India to sign the NPT and CTBT. Today, at the Hokkaido meeting of the G-8 held recently in Japan, the Chairman's summary has welcomed cooperation in civilian nuclear energy between India and the international community. This is a measure of the sea change in the perceptions of the international community our trading with India for civilian nuclear energy purposes that has come about in less than ten years.

    Our critics falsely accuse us, that in signing these agreements, we have surrendered the independence of foreign policy and made it subservient to US interests. In this context, I wish to point out that the cooperation in civil nuclear matters that we seek is not confined to the USA. Change in the NSG guidelines would be a passport to trade with 45 members of the Nuclear Supplier Group which includes Russia, France, and many other countries.

    We appreciate the fact that the US has taken the lead in promoting cooperation with India for nuclear energy for civilian use. Without US initiative, India's case for approval by the IAEA or the Nuclear Suppliers Group would not have moved forward.

    But this does not mean that there is any explicit or implicit constraint on India to pursue an independent foreign policy determined by our own perceptions of our enlightened national interest. Some people are spreading the rumors that there are some secret or hidden agreements over and above the documents made public. I wish to state categorically that there are no secret or hidden documents other than the 123 agreement, the Separation Plan and the draft of the safeguard agreement with the IAEA. It has also been alleged that the Hyde Act will affect India's ability to pursue an independent foreign policy. The Hyde Act does exist and it provides the US administration the authorization to enter into civil nuclear cooperation with India without insistence on full scope safeguards and without signing of the NPT. There are some prescriptive clauses but they cannot and they will not be allowed to affect in any way the conduct of our foreign policy. Our commitment is to what has been agreed in the 123 Agreement. There is nothing in this Agreement which will affect our strategic autonomy or our ability to pursue an independent foreign policy. I state categorically that our foreign policy, will at all times be determined by our own assessment of our national interest. This has been true in the past and will be true in future regarding our relations with big powers as well as with our neighbors in West Asia, notably Iran, Iraq, Palestine and the Gulf countries.

    We have differed with the USA on their intervention in Iraq. I had explicitly stated at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington DC in July 2005 that intervention in Iraq was a big mistake. With regard to Iran, our advice has been in favor of moderation and we would like that the issues relating to Iran's nuclear programme which have emerged should be resolved through dialog and discussions in the framework of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    I should also inform the House that our relations with the Arab world are very good. Two years ago, His Majesty, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was the Chief Guest at our Republic Day. More recently, we have played host to the President of Iran, President of Syria, the King of Jordan, the Emir of Qatar and the Emir of Kuwait. With all these countries we have historic civilizational and cultural links which we are keen to further develop to our mutual benefit. Today, we have strategic relationship with all major powers including USA, Russia, France, UK, Germany, Japan, China, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa. We are Forging new partnerships with countries of East Asia, South East Asia and Africa.

    CONCLUSION The Management and governance of the world's largest, most diverse and most vibrant democracy is the greatest challenge any person can be entrusted with, in this world. It has been my good fortune that I was entrusted with this challenge over four years ago. I thank with all sincerity the Chairperson of the UPA, the leaders of the Constituent Parties of the UPA and every member of my Party for the faith and trust they reposed in me. I once again recall with gratitude the guidance and support I have received from Shri Jyoti Basu and Sardar Harkishen Singh Surjeet.

    I have often said that I am a politician by accident. I have held many diverse responsibilities. I have been a teacher, I have been an official of the Government of India, I have been a member of this greatest of Parliaments, but I have never forgotten my life as a young boy in a distant village.

    Every day that I have been Prime Minister of India I have tried to remember that the first ten years of my life were spent in a village with no drinking water supply, no electricity, no hospital, no roads and nothing that we today associate with modern living. I had to walk miles to school, I had to study in the dim light of a kerosene oil lamp. This nation gave me the opportunity to ensure that such would not be the life of our children in the foreseeable future.

    Sir, my conscience is clear that on every day that I have occupied this high office, I have tried to fulfill the dream of that young boy from that distant village.

    The greatness of democracy is that we are all birds of passage! We are here today, gone tomorrow! But in the brief time that the people of India entrust us with this responsibility, it is our duty to be honest and sincere in the discharge of these responsibilities. As it is said in our sacred texts, we are responsible for our actions and we must act without coveting the rewards of such action. Whatever I have done in this high office I have done so with a clear conscience and the best interests of my country and our people at heart. I have no other claims to make.

    Grasp of the issues :up: !!!!!!!

    Source of the article is PM's reply to the debate. | SikhNet
     
  12. Huck_Finn

    Huck_Finn
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    i am happy not because he is a Sikh but because he is the only sane voice i hear most of the times
     
  13. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    amarsanghera ji

    I know what you mean. While reading this article the thought kept popping into my head: Think what it would be like if Manmohan Singh were a senator in the US, or even a presidential candidate in this election? The political discourse would become so robust that even taking one or two bites from his message would lead to some healthy change. What if Manmohan Singh were president of the US? Then his kind of thinking would not just stimulate a healthy debate, it would take wing and become a platform for change. Very inspired man -- with a strong back. ;)
     
  14. Huck_Finn

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    except that Bill O rilley would be on his back most of the time ;)
     
  15. spnadmin

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    Bill O'Reilley would waste about a year talking about Turban and Beard and never get to the point.:D
     
  16. Huck_Finn

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    i am dying to see Colbert in a turban :)

    and then declaring it as better than helmets :)
     
  17. spnadmin

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    Not only that -- But after Bill O'Reilley got down to the discovery of Sikhi and its spiritual beliefs, he would have a sudden attack of samadhi. In the swell and flush of his shameless ego he would then spend precious hours telling everyone how it works. The man is beyond repair -- save Gurukirpa may save him.
     
  18. spnadmin

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    No Colbert in a turban is not a good idea. He would look like he should be in a circus tent telling fortunes. Has to keep kesh for a few months and meditate. Then maybe. :cool:
     
  19. Huck_Finn

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  20. Sinister

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    hey stop pounding Billo...he makes for excellent hatefilled entertainment :inca:

    PS: india needs lots of power...aparently dung cakes are becoming obsolete NOOOOOO!!!!!! (my lifelong investments down the drain!).
     
  21. vijaydeep Singh

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    Gurfateh


    Das will put one front page of Rozana spokesman,which so far has been opposing the belivers of Bani of Tenth Master as Brahmin wadi and "Dasam Granthiye".

    PM used term 'deh Shiva Bar Mohe".

    Will they consider term Shiva as Akal or demigodess of Hindus.Will they prove PM as agent of Hindus?Will they bring the futhert prof that childern(girl) of PM are married to Hindus?

    Das has worked on his opwn level to let Akalis support PM,but spokoesman was full for support of PM.But why were they supporting the person who has faith in bani of Tenth Master?

    see the proof.
     

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