PM Manmohan addresses Parliament

The Prime Minister on Tuesday avoided all contentious issues in his Thank You address in Parliament. There was no mention of the Women's Reservation Bill in his speech and the Opposition is now crying foul.

 

"It is my hope that we maintain the spirit of bipartisan when it comes to national problems and concerns," the Prime Minister had said, setting the tone for his reply to the President's speech to Parliament.

 

Manmohan Singh's reply was more about laying out the near-term agenda for the new UPA Government, but it was what he didn't say than what he did, that has made news.

 

He kept away from all contentious issues that might put him in conflict with the Opposition as well as his own allies, despite provocation from RJD Chief Lalu Prasad and independent candidate Kalyan Singh.

 

"The Bill is possible only if there are quotas within the quota for weaker sections. I agree with Mulayam Singh and Sharad Yadav," Lalu had said earlier.

 

The Prime Minister left out the controversial bill completely from his speech. The President had made an elaborate reference to the Bill in her speech and Manmohan Singh clearly left it at that. Also, though he made several references to increasing growth and funding it with infrastructural spending, he stayed silent on disinvestment which is already a red rag to some allies as well as some former allies.

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