PM, Sonia not on same page: BJP

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New Delhi: Claiming that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi are not on the same page, the BJP today said government has to be large-hearted and not act as "big brother" for creating a political consensus, which is key to economic reforms.

"If you need a political consensus, Government has to be big-hearted. You cannot continue to act like the big brother," Arun Jaitley said, initiating the debate on the Appropriation Bill moved by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee. Questioning the political structure of the UPA, Jaitley said, "The Prime Minister cannot be a CEO merely implementing decisions by the Board… he must be vested with authority and confidence."

Unlike UPA-I, where the twin leadership was on the same page, in UPA-II they appear to be on different pages, even ideologically, Jaitley said. He said even on issues like FDI in retail, there was not a single statement from the UPA Chairman and there was no consensus even within UPA constituents. "Before we can be told, please develop consensus within the UPA," Jaitley said.

Mukherjee has been stating that it was the lack of political consensus and disruption of Parliament which have blocked key economic issues. Jaitley said support of the Opposition parties at the Centre cannot be ensured if the non-Congress states are discriminated in the matters of allocation of coal blocks. Also, several of the state level legislations are pending the Governor`s clearance.

He said the roadmap for a political consensus can be laid by a Prime Minister who "must act with authority". Jaitley, however, was all praise for Mukherjee who has played a trouble-shooter for the government on several contentious issues.

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