I do not wish to go into any lengthy analysis of the security situation. But before doing that I do wish to leave a thought with my distinguished and able Minister of External Affairs that hugs and false bonhomies are not adequate replacement for sound foreign policy. I do also wish to share a thought with the hon. Defence Minister. I leave a thought with him that I apprehend a situation, though I have no categorical reasons why I apprehend so, somewhat similar to what had happened in the country before 1962.
I say this with seriousness and I say this with a sense of responsibility. Let us not be complacent and I do charge the United Front Government of neglecting to make adequate arrangements for Defence, to make adequate Budgetary arrangements for Defence. For the eleventh year in succession, the needs of the Defence were neglected.
My second point about the United Front Government relates to the economy. When the Budget was presented by my distinguished friend, we called the Budget as `the chalia Budget'; and there was maya jaal, an illusion of well-being, prosperity and growth. But everyone on that side was happy. We cautioned you there itself. I say that our differences on the Budget lies principally because this illusion of prosperity and growth is combined with actual disparity and division of India from Bharat.
I do wish to refer to agriculture; I do wish to refer to the question of foodgrains; and I do wish to refer particularly to the mismanagement by the UF Government on the wheat front. We are informed that some millions of tonnes of wheat are to be imported into the country. For those millions of tonnes of wheat, the UF Government is going to pay Rs.650 per quintal ... (Interruptions) I wish we had been told that the Government is going to import 20 million tonnes. ... (Interruptions)
SOME HON. MEMBERS: It is only two million tonnes.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH (CHITTORGARH): Are you happy that two million tonnes should be imported?
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE (DUMDUM): We are happy with your mistake!
SHRI JASWANT SINGH (CHITTORGARH): You are happy with my mistake? Well, having corrected it, are you happy that instead of 20 million tonnes it should only be two million tonnes which is going to be imported at Rs.750 per quintal when the domestic producers - the farmers - are going to get only Rs.550? ... (Interruptions)
SOME HON. MEMBERS: It is Rs.450 only.
SHRI NIRMAL KANTI CHATTERJEE (DUMDUM): Again you have slipped.
SHRI JASWANT SINGH (CHITTORGARH): How do you know that I did not actually want you to correct me, to point out the huge disparity between Rs.450 and Rs.750?
I appeal to the UF Government to reflect on what they are doing in this regard. I do not wish to sound pessimistic; I do not also wish to draw your attention to what is happening in our neighbourhood -- in Pakistan or in Afganistan -- on the food front. But I do appeal to you not to treat this casually and I do appeal to you to take a stand that whatever may be the procurement price, it would be the price at which they would supply wheat to all the consumers.
I do not agree with the management of the Government on agricultural front and I certainly cannot condone the UF Government on the neglect of the energy sector. I charge this Government of continuously neglecting the petroleum sector. The situation is perilous; if energy sector is there as it is, then the nation's energy sector has been endangered by this Government.
I will conclude by submitting that the Government of India is not an arrangement! It is not a mere convenience based on personal prejudices and needs. You like a certain person and you dislike another person in which only Office counts and nothing else! I am also not impressed by the undignified manner in which this scrabble has taken place about changing, not changing, altering, we will continue to give support if you replace personalities, etc.
Then, where is, Mr. Prime Minister, the one which you have put across as the Common Minimum Programme? You should have put it as `Common Personality Programme!'. Why do you have Common Minimum Programme? If it was to be based on `Common Personality Programme', then that is what we should have been told earlier. Certainly, the Congress Party owes us much more than an explanation.
So, this is an insult, not simply to this House which is a distillate of the people of India but it is also an insult to the people of this country. It is besmirching the fair name of our poor and blighted country. There is only one answer both for the defender and the offender, that is, go and depart for heaven's sake and leave this chair. You count these chairs more and more worthy than the country. That is the only one solution for you now to come to terms with the loss of office and to go back to the people.
Therefore, I oppose this Motion.
SHRI P.R. DASMUNSI (HOWRAH): Mr. Speaker Sir, today is the day when our party, the Indian National Congress, is now being tried from this side and that side and it is our duty to convey our message to the entire nation, as to what we stood for, how we stood for till now and for which we stand for. If we make a mistake on emotional grounds, I know and I am aware of the fact that the nation will not spare any individual in the House including the Indian National Congress.
Our responsibility is tremdendous. It is not because we are in the Indian National Congress but because we were the sole partner from the very beginning in the process of making the nation as one nation alongwith everyone in this House as the forebearer of the nation...(interruptions)....We did realise the meaning of the mandate which was given to the Eleventh Lok Sabha. The mandate was certainly for not this side, to us and to them but the message of the mandate was, if you can, please try to avoid those who try to betray the Constitution and the mandate of the founding fathers to keep the people united and to uphold the dignity of secularism. That message alone provided the direction to the Indian National Congress on 12th May to take a decision and the decision was not taken by an individual. On that day, we did not know who was coming, whether 'X' or 'Y'.
1218 hours (Mr. Deputy-Speaker in the Chair.)
The decision was very clear and categorical. What was the decision? I quote:
"The Congress Party has decided to take positive steps in support of the process of the formation of the Government by political parties which are totally committed to secular, democratic, communal harmony, welfare, social and economically weaker sections and minorities and rapid growth of our country as well as to values enshrined in our Constitution."
So, we stood by that and we stand by that.
Respected Prime Minister, Shri H.D. Deve Gowda, while moving the Motion, had very rightly referred to a distinguished leader who was the President of our Party and the Leader of the CPP, respected Shri P.V. Narasimha Rao who said that our support was unconditional and we shall not betray. Sir, I again say on behalf of our party that our support to UF and the commitment for the secular order that we stood for, is still unconditional and not withdrawn. So, what is withdrawn? With what pain had we gone to the Rashtrapati Bhawan? With what anguish and agony had we gone to the Rashtrapati Bhawan? Is it against an individual? Shri Jaswant Singh may say anything to exploit the situation but one thing is very clear. We may do or die but we are not going to do anything to make a road for him, come what may. That is the message of Mahatma Gandhi to us.
You may say whatever you like. ... (Interruptions) I did not interrupt. Under what compulsion have we done it? About Shri H.D. Deve Gowda and the United Front colleagues and your Ministers, we have no individual accusations. You have a competent leader on the floor of the House, Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, who is the Minister of Railways. He is not in our party. But I congratulate him about the manner in which he is trying to unite the oppressed and the suffering humanity of the nation. I look at him from a distance. I adore him and his contribution. He was not in our party. He is not in our party even today.
There is your competent Minister of Finance, Shri P. Chidambaram. In spite of all the difficulties and differences - where we do not agree and they do not agree he has tried to steer the Budget. ... (Interruptions) I did not disturb you.
SHRI SONTOSH MOHAN DEV (SILCHAR): When Shri Jaswant Singh spoke, not a single Member from our side intervened.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please maintain decorum in the House.
SHRI DATTA MEGHE (RAMTEK): Is BJP a disciplined party?
SHRI P.R. DASMUNSI (HOWRAH): We have very competent Ministers. We do not regard Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav as a Minister of Defence. We consider Shri Yadav's role a crucial one to defend secularism in the country in a crucial hour - in Uttar Pradesh. We know it. We can go against you today. That is a different thing. But history will write continuously that the role played by Shri Mulayam Singh Yadav to save the nation and the destiny of the nation cannot be forgotten. You try to understand our perception. We have withdrawn the support and sent the letter to Rashtrapati. For what? ... (Interruptions)
PROF. P.J. KURIEN (MAVELIKARA): We will also do the same thing.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: You also please keep quiet.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please do not add to the confusion.
MR. DEPUTY-SPEAKER: Please sit down.
SHRI P.R. DASMUNSI (HOWRAH): From the Congress' point of view, we did not raise an issue about personalities as referred to by Shri Jaswant Singh. The Government headed by Shri H.D. Deve Gowda is not merely a Government to head a Government in South Block. But with all regards to Shri Deve Gowda, I urge upon him to look at it. Was it the mandate of the House to elect you only as Prime Minister to do the nitty-gritty of the South Block every day and dispose of the files or to consolidate the secular forces of India to protect India from the danger that they are creating? What was the mandate to you? Was it not the mandate to you? You enquire about it as you like. You can choose any words that you like. What was said in our communique? Is it that we have done it suddenly? Shri Jaswant Singh suddenly found that on 30th - a holiday - we have done the most unholy things. No, it is not a fact. We did not do this hara-kiri on the 4th of November. You may recall, Mr. Prime Minister, that we did communicate to all your constituents our anguish, the decision of our Working Committee, the anguish about the manner in which the things were moving. Should I quote a few words? Should it be out of the context? What anguish have we expressed? We said:
"In a given situation in the country, a Scheduled Caste woman, as a Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, would be further considered to consolidate the secular forces to prevent the communal forces to take over Uttar Pradesh."
Was it a wrong message from the Congress? Was it not a mandate that was given to you? Was it contrary to the desire of all of you? Did we quarrel on the personal issue? But we could not match you. We do not like to go into the debate. The Minister of Home Affairs, Shri Indrajit Gupta, is sitting here. I have no hesitation to say it.
I have no hesitation in saying that when I became a Member of the Fifth Lok Sabha, Shri Indrajit Gupta, the hon. Home Minister who is sitting here, was my inspiration - he is still my inspiration - not only as a Parliamentarian but for his way of thinking on the national issues and on the imperialist designs in the country which are there to destabilise the nation. We might use sarcastic words about his statements but even he felt about it in many ways. Is it not a fact that he felt sad that the things which are in our hands could not be consolidated just because of a few persons? Is it not a fact? Is it not an admission of fact, Mr. Prime Minister?
We did not elect you as the Prime Minister just for delivering a speech on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address. We elected you to draw the attention of the nation to the fact that communal forces are not a guarantee to the nation, but the secular foundations are gaining strength everyday. Did you, Mr. Prime Minister, try to step in that direction for a day? Did you try this before and after the elections?
I am not questioning you on Punjab. Distinguished Barnala ji is here. Do you not know how much sacrifice he made after the death of Shri Longowal when the Punjab Accord was signed? We knew that after the Accord, Congress would not win the elections there; we knew that after the Accord in Assam Congress would not win the elections there, AGP would win. But we said, let AGP win; let democracy win; let the power of bullets go. For that reason, you have lost Longowalji. Did we not lose Indiraji? A number of Sikh people were murdered in Delhi. We, the Congressmen of the second and third generation, appeal to you with folded hands to forget those days. We are rebuilding a new structure. We have no hesitation to say in future that the killings of Bhindrawalen and all those misguided youths who were equally our brothers are as painful as the assassination of Indiraji, who is a martyr. We do feel sad. You please try to understand the agony through which we passed. Is it not a fact that we fought against terrorism in Punjab? Is it not a fact that we simply stood stunned when we could not get the body of late Rajiv Gandhi and were left thinking as to how to place it on the funeral pyre? Are not all these cases of contribution and sacrifice? Is it all for power? Are all these not for a cause?
Mr. Prime Minister, at that time you were only given the mandate to act as the Prime Minister to unite the secular forces. Did you not behave in a partisan manner then? Did you not conduct yourself for individual interest to see as to who got what seat. What has happened today? When you became the Prime Minister, we all had a hope. We placed you as the leader at the top and rallied behind you without sharing power. We thought we would go ahead with this till the last. If we have done any omission or commission, punish us. We would rebuild a new Congress, come what may. The nation then would be protected from the threat of the forces of destabilisation and communal elements. Did we argue anything?
What was done in Punjab and Kashmir? Thank God, Dr. Farooq Abdullah is there in Kashmir now. In Kashmir the battle was not merely as to how to win elections. The battle was for article 370, apart, of course, from the battle against the terrorists and extremists. It was a battle against the abolition of article 370. Mr. Prime Minister, was there any meeting in this regard with the representatives of the Parties that are sitting here? About Kashmir we are all together and we are against this malicious campaign against article 370. Did you respond to the political urges and to the demands of this nation?... (Interruptions)
Please allow me to conclude. I am not talking about election campaigns. I am talking about the unity and consolidation of the secular forces in this country. We do have differences in the States. In our State, we have differences. I am not bringing those things here. The day the Mosque was demolished, Shri Somnath Chatterjee who is here would recall, the moment it was done, the hon. Chief Minister gave us a phone call. We all - myself, Kumari Mamata Banerjee and others - sat together. What did we do then? We decided that there should not be any clash. Everything should be protected and no such thing should be repeated in Bengal. Did we not do that? This is not all for power. This is not all manipulations and machinations.
How did our anguish come? Mr. Prime Minister, really speaking, candidly speaking, honestly speaking and confessing, we consider that you have marginalised the basic importance and significance of the consolidation of the secular forces in this country.
That day we felt that the United Front is okay but possibly the driver with the steering is not driving the vehicle in the proper direction. That was our anguish, Mr. Prime Minister, not against you as an individual, as Mr. Deve Gowda a gentleman, but against the Prime Minister, Mr. Deve Gowda.
It is not our charge. What was the agony? BJP has charged Congress saying, it owes an explanation as to what it means by the security concept. Yes, we will have to alert you, Mr. Prime Minister. I do not know who is advising in the PMO. You prepared a stage for security talks with Pakistan at the Secretary level delegation. It was a welcome step. Gujrai Ji read out a statement in the House on the Senior Citizen Concessional Visa from Pakistan. Did we not applaud, did we not stand by him and support him? Had we got any intention to pull you down on the floor to suit our purpose, we could have joined the BJP in their Motion under Rule 184. Did we do that? On the contrary, the Speaker's ruling itself, Mr. Prime Minister, was directly or indirectly a stricture on the collective responsibility and functioning in the Cabinet. Did we make it an issue of debate? Did we embarrass you for a single day? We did not. We could understand what is happening.
I congratulate Shri Nirmal Kanti Chatterjee for raising it in the House twice and alerting the Government to take cognizance of the game plan of VHP on Kashi and Mathura. At that time, Mr. Prime Minister, the Government was not formed in UP. We have contacts in UP. Our Party may not be in power in UP today. Our volunteers are spread all over the country. We have hundred years old roots throughout the country. My own friends and colleagues have been in Mathura. I have been the Youth Congress President for five years. Our colleagues spread over the country carry messages as to what is the threat and what is the preparation. What message you have taken out of it? How did you respond? You thought it was only a casual remark made by a Member in the House. Is that enough? Did you call all the Parties to discuss such a serious situation even if it comes under the Government of Ms. Mayawati today? If she is helpless and is under their pressure, we should think collectively as to how we should plan and help that lady. In what manner we should carry over the campaign? You may say whatever you may like but I may tell you, that campaign is alive. The preparation for the campaign is very strong. Did you respond to that Mr. Prime Minister? You did not. You took it casually.