UPA govt cancels anniversary celebration

PM sanctions Rs 2 lakh each for the kin of dead

The celebration marking the first anniversary of the UPA II government was scheduled to be held at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s official residence on Saturday.
Singh had proposed to host a gala dinner for his ministerial colleagues and senior leaders of his party, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the partners of the ruling alliance.

One of the features of the proposed anniversary bash was the release of a report card on the performance of the government, with details about its achievements.
“As a mark of respect to those who perished in this tragic incident, the function at the prime minister’s residence has been postponed,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement issued here.

The opposition parties have criticised the UPA government for going for a grand celebration to celebrate its first anniversary as it has failed on many fronts particularly internal security, economy, agriculture and foreign policy and contended that there was nothing to cheer about.

Besides, there was widespread speculation that most of the allies of the ruling UPA might not attend the celebration in view of not-so-happy scenario on various fronts like rising inflation and disturbing internal situation in the face of growing menace of Maoist violence.

As soon as the news about the heart-rending Mangalore air crash reached the Prime Minister, he decided to postpone the celebration, sources said. Singh also spoke to Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and informed her about his decision to postpone the celebration.

Sensing the gravity of the air crash the Prime Minister asked the Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to visit Mangalore to get first-hand information and supervise the rescue operations. Singh also had a talk with the Home Minister P Chidambaram
Singh later issued instructions to sanction from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund,  Rs 2 lakh for the families of those killed and Rs 50,000 for those injured. He gave the government’s assurance of all  possible assistance to the bereaved families as well.

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