If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had failed to convince former allies like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail, there was little chance of him swaying the people, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray said here on Monday.
In an editorial in the party mouthpiece Saamna, Thackeray said the prime minister's address to the nation, broadcast Sep 21, was "most laughable" and quite unprecedented. He held that the move to bring in FDI in multi-brand retail had angered India's trading community.
Besides, the hike in diesel prices has also hit commoners hard. It will serve to snuff out hearth fires in poor households, the Shiv Sena chief said, mocking the prime minister for calling upon people to "strengthen his hands". He ridiculed Manmohan Singh for reminding people that "money does not grow on trees".
The Shiv Sena chief argued that while the prime minister claims to be in dire financial straits, he also doles out largesse. He questioned concessions made to the Muslim minority, government spending on food security and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
"We cannot say if the prime minister's hands are strong. But the people of the country are strong, and will definitely drag the Congress out of power," Thackeray predicted.
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday won the trust vote in the Assembly, proving his majority after dumping long-time ally the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav ashed out at Opposition parties for terming his ambitious laptop distribution scheme as an eyewash.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the Planning Commission were on Tuesday at loggerheads at the annual plan meeting with Modi accusing the Centre of adopting 'big brother' attitude disregarding the federal structure.
TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao asserted that his party would only accept formation of separate Telangana as a solution to the long-pending statehood issue in Andhra Pradesh.
Ahead of the trust vote Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sught in the assembly Wednesday, friend-turned-foe BJP has said it is prepared to sit in the opposition.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has announced more than a dozen sops in the past one year with an eye on the Assembly elections.
A meeting between Mohan Bhagwat and L.K. Advani was called off on after the Advani reported "unwell", said BJP party sources.