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Presidential poll: JD (U) supports Vajpayee’s view

Thursday 24 May 2007

Special Correspondent

Vajpayee is talking to the constituents: Sharad Yadav

NEW DELHI: Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav on Wednesday said his party endorsed the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s view for a consensus Presidential candidate. ``The United Progressive Alliance is the ruling coalition. They should take an initiative on this,’’ he said, while answering questions during a press conference on the three years of the United Progressive Alliance Government.

``We feel it would be best if there would be a consensus candidate. The National Democratic Alliance has authorised Mr. Vajpayee on this and he is talking to the constituents of the NDA.’’

Commenting on the UPA’s performance, Mr. Yadav said his party would launch a national protest on the ``anti-people policies’’ of the government. ``The formality of issuing a report card is meaningless and hypocritical exercise. The life of the aam aadmi has been made unbearable by the steep rise in the prices of essential commodities and by snatching employment opportunities through the faulty policy of Special Economic Zones and entry of big houses in retail trade. Disparity has grown during the three years of the UPA Government.’’

According to Mr. Yadav the list of the failures of the Government was endless. ``The farming community and agriculture, which is the mainstay of the country’s social and economic fabric, has been hit hard by the UPA Government’s policies. The contribution of agriculture in the GDP has become lower and the rate of growth of the sector is very low. The National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREG) Scheme is only in select districts and that too is being delivered in an unsatisfactory manner. In any case, NREG cannot be a substitute for a sound policy for agriculture and rural sector, which have become non-existent, forcing farmers to commit suicides.’’

Mr. Yadav said the SEZ policy was taking away fertile land from farmers and endangering the food security of the country.

While on the one hand forward trading of essential commodities had fuelled price rise, on the other, the country has had to import pulses, edible oils, and wheat. Now there is talk of importing even milk.

He alleged that the employment of Dalits, minorities, weaker sections and women had gone down during the UPA rule.

``While a section of English-speaking youth and public school educated people have benefited from the growth in the IT sector, those coming out of language schools are facing unemployment. At the same time, the entry of big business houses in retail trade has endangered the livelihood of crores of retailers and their families.’’

See online : The Hindu

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