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Shri Abhishek Singhvi addressed the media today.
Shri Abhishek Singhvi said as per the permission of the Congress President, we wish to announce the entry of the following two persons into the Congress Party:
We have pleasure in announcing and welcoming their entry into the Congress Party under the kind permission of the Congress President.
Shri Abhishek Singhvi said the UP Chief Minister does protests too much. There is a lot of sound and a lot of theory but no facts. Facts are inconvenient. Truth is indeed a mirror and mirrors do not lie. The UP Chief Minister actually needs to be congratulated for topping the chart once again but it is a left-handed compliment because the chart which she and her administration and the state has topped as per the latest figures and statistics available for 2010 by a statutory body - National Crime Record Bureau - released for 2010 - puts the crime rate as the highest in the state of UP for the available latest year. Shri Singhvi further said I am not taking you into the details but roughly 33+% of all crimes registered in the country are registered in UP. Incidentally on a related parameter, UP also again tops the charts for which the UP Chief Minister deserves congratulations again and those are the published statistics for violent crime in the same report where again UP is the highest though in this case the rate has remained static mercifully at 11%. This is not surprising. It is only a statistical, a factual confirmation of what each 'aam-aadmi' and 'aam-aurat' of UP knows - knows only too well. Ask them that 'aam-aadmi' and he will put flesh and blood into these cold figures because that flesh and blood is borne out of agony and everyday experience. So this is merely a statistical confirmation. UP has flourished in all the wrong areas because of the special kindness of this administration and this Chief Minister. It has flourished in governmental apathy; it has prospered because the CM has supported the wrong doings, so it has prospered in wrong doings. Bureaucratic nepotism is encouraged and supported by the political bosses of Uttar Pradesh. Nowhere is the bureaucracy so disheartened, demoralized, dejected as in UP and the reason is simple - blue eyed favorites have galloped to the top position while the seniority and integrity are two of the biggest disqualifications with this government with this administration. Seniority and integrity are the black marks. That is why; the backbone of the administration has crumbled and when the backbone of the administration crumbles you get these figures. That is when criminals and crime hold sway and have the run of the state. The UP Chief Minister and the UP administration are also protesting too much. Indeed protesting is a symbol of guilt regarding the very grave charges of embezzlements and siphoning in relation to MNREGA. It is no point holding press conferences to tell you that the Union Minister's letter reached press first and the Chief Minister later. This is an irrelevant shooting the messenger tactic. Apart from telling you such trivia, the response of the UP government is not able to convincingly refute a single figure because the allegation is again based on nitty-gritty details on facts and figures. Indeed such facts and figures cannot be refuted because they are objective. There is a district-wise breakup. There is an item-wise breakup and without giving you too much details, let me give only two examples. There are around 20-30 districts. In Balrampur - supported by documents - in 2008 the panchayat of that district bought 1.5 lakh calendars under the name of MNREGA - each calendar costing Rs. 31/-. Tents of Rs. 80 lakhs and first-aid boxes of lakhs were again purchased. In Ghonda, in 2007-08, toys of Rs. 37 lakhs were purchased in the name of Women laborers' creches. How do you refute such figures just to say that the letter whether it reached the press or the CM two days later or before. How does it make a difference? This is not the question of toys only but they are playing with the sentiments of the people of UP. The people of UP needs an answer from the UP government.
To a question asked over the statistics available for Delhi in regard to crime against women when compared to that of UP, Shri Singhvi said there has been a decline in such figures in respect of Delhi. We are talking based on facts and figures only.
On the question of reaction of the Congress party over the statement of Shri Digvijaya Singh that we should have a cue from the case of Shri Rajat Gupta, Shri Singhvi said we are not required to comment on every comment of others. We feel no need to do the same. Shri Singhvi added the Congress party does not need any view about legal or judicial proceedings regarding the individual merits of any case. You are entitled to ask anybody you like but as Congress Party, we have no need to comment on judicial proceedings or the merits or demerits of any individual case involved in judicial or legal proceedings.
On the question of reaction of the Congress party on the reconstitution of Anna Team, Shri Singhvi said there is no need for the Congress party to comment on the internal constitution, reconstitution or de-constitution of any other body.
To another question on the tragedy happening in West Bengal, Shri Singhvi said I think there is no question of reaction. It is a terrible incident. We are horrified. Anybody who has seen it would be horrified. I think immediate action has to be taken to prevent recurrence and fixing of blame and punishment will and must follow but at the moment the need of the hour which the Chief Minister has already commissioned on a massive scale must be to prevent any remote recurrence of this terrible tragedy. It is a terrible tragedy and it is a human problem.
On another question as to why the irregularities in the MNREGA has been pointed at this point when these had happened in 2008, Shri Sinvhgi said district-wise audit starts later and much later. Please understand the size of the exercise. This is a district-wise audit. The point is these audits start towards the end of the relevant year and given the size and numbers, it takes very long time. After the audit it takes further time to reinforce correct check and counter-check figures. So this has come only recently and the second point is that these are completely irrelevant issues. We have not yet heard of any refutation on the merits.
To another question on the rate of inflation and rising prices, Shri Singhvi said I take your point. We are extremely concerned in the current context.
To another question on the statement of Shri KV Thomas on the price rise when he commented that eating habit of the people is the reason for the price rise, Shri Singhvi said it is very unfair to pluck out one sentence out of a much larger address and to seek comment on it out of context. In that address, he has emphasized the multi-pronged reasons for the hike. This is one out of many and I totally disagree that this is the main or the only reason which he has emphasized. I refuse to comment on out of context comment.
On the question of the reaction of the Congress Party over the position of J&K Congress President Shri Saif-ud-din Soz with regard to the proposal of J&K CM for revoking of AFSPA from Jammu & Kashmir, Shri Singhvi said you are asking me at the third level on the third occasion. The PCC President has spoken. The Congress party does not need to add or subtract from what has been stated by the PCC President and we fully endorse and uphold that view. The view expressed by the State in-charge is the view of the Congress party. Our view on AFSPA is what has been articulated by the state in-charge. A decision has to be taken in consultation with all relevant stakeholders and that certainly includes the Army, central government, the ruling coalition and elements of it and others.
On the question of economic blockade in Manipur, Shri Singhvi said it is regrettable and has to be set right. Blockades because of local regional sentiments create a major problem. It is very limited in both - time, space and degree and we have no doubt it will sort itself out very shortly because all steps have been taken. But certainly we do not support for a minute irrespective of reasons a blockade which imposes on 'aam-aadmi' or 'aam-person' the consequences of which are extremely serious.