Govt to present report card to salvage pride

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will present the last report card of the UPA government on Wednesday to mark the coalition’s fourth anniversary at the Centre. The report, chronicling the UPA’s success story, aims at restoring credibility to a bedraggled government battling corruption charges and poor financial health.

The prime minister is expected to unveil plans on the way ahead for the National Food Security Bill and the Land Acquisition Bill, seen by the party as potential game-changers in the next Lok Sabha elections.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and UPA leaders are expected to attend a dinner, where Singh will present the report card.

Though the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP) may send its representative Satish Mishra, key ally Samajwadi Party (SP), which has been critical of the Centre recently, is unlikely to send any representative. Besides the MPs from the UPA constituents, invitations were sent to chief ministers of the Congress-ruled states.  The Centre is leaving no stones unturned in projecting a clean image ahead of the occasion.

This includes a media blitz on its flagship welfare schemes, Bharat Nirman and a TV commercial titled “Sadbhav (good faith),” which seeks to showcase communal harmony and unity among the people of the country.

Deserted by the Trinamool Congress and the DMK, the Congress on Tuesday put up brave front, saying that it has extended “a hand of friendship” towards like-minded parties.
 “You do not make appeal to friends. You extend a hand and that is reciprocated from the other side. Our hand has been extended,” party spokesperson Raj Babbar told reporters.

Asked who among the outside supporters will attend the function,  Babbar said he was not aware of the mailing list. He spoke in a similar vein when asked whether BSP supremo Mayawati will be the “special guest” Mulayam Singh Yadav was last year.

Cong failed to reciprocate: NCP

On the eve of the ninth anniversary of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Sharad Pawar's Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday regretted that the Congress failed to reciprocate its support and friendship, reports PTI from New Delhi. But the NCP insisted that the UPA was “not a liability”.

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