“We didn’t take the decision (on FDI) hastily. We have thought a lot about it and firmly believe that the decision will benefit us a lot,” said Manmohan Singh, addressing the two-day convention of elected youth Congress leaders here.
The Prime Minister insisted that the decision to open up the retail sector to foreign investors is aimed at creating jobs, improving remuneration of farmers and import of latest technology in agriculture sector to reduce wastage. “We believe that it will bring modern technology to the country, improve rural infrastructure, reduce wastage of agricultural produce and enable our farmers to get better prices for their crops,” Prime Minister said, virtually rejecting demands within UPA and outside for reversal of the decision on FDI.
Singh criticised the Opposition for the Parliament logjam, with the House being paralysed for the third day in succession only on the FDI issue. Disruption of proceedings amounted to doing “injustice” to the voters who elected MPs and lowered the image of the country, he said. “It is necessary that Parliament functions smoothly. But the Opposition parties are not allowing this,” he said.
Sonia for effective Lokpal
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who also addressed the Youth Congress delegates on the second day of the convention said, "Together with an effective Lokpal bill, the government is working on a variety of legislation which will systematically fight corruption. I hope the opposition will support us in passing these important measures,” Sonia Gandhi said, addressing the Youth Congress activists.
However, during her speech, the Congress president made no reference to the raging controversy over FDI in retail.
Referring to corruption, in the wake of the Anna movement, she said, “In the last few months, there has been much talk about corruption. Corruption is indeed a plague of public life and we are committed to eradicate it. Our actions have shown this. The Right to Information (RTI) Act, which our government enacted, has placed in the hands of the people a powerful weapon against corruption,” she said.
Gandhi family scion and Congress general secretary in-charge of Youth Congress, Rahul Gandhi, exhorted Youth Congress leaders to win the trust of the people and learn to lead. “The only thing you will ever have as a political leader is the trust of your people,” Rahul Gandhi told almost 7000 Youth Congress delegates at the convention.