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The rare occasions when Manmohan Singh actually spoke in times of trouble

IBNLive.com
Sep 26, 2012 at 05:55pm IST

These are the few-and-far-between occasions when the country has heard from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. They do not include regular addresses like Independence Day speeches and routine New Year addresses. These statements and speeches were made when the country was in some kind of a dilemma or crisis - be it economic, political or social.

September 21, 2012: In his address to nation at a time when Mamata Banerjee's TMC withdrew support from UPA-II on grounds of allowing FDI in retail & aviation and increasing fuel prices, Manmohan Singh sought to clarify why these measures were essential.

September 7, 2012: In his address to the media outside Parliament, Manmohan Singh tried to explain his position after the CAG alleged misallocation of coal blocks. He said: "We have great respect for the institution of the CAG, but if we respect this institution, we must be willing to debate its findings in the Public Accounts Committee, or even on the floor of the Parliament, which we have always been willing."

The rare occasions when Manmohan Singh actually spoke

These are the few-and-far-between occasions when the country has heard from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

August 27, 2012: In his statement to media outside Parliament in the aftermath of the CAG's allegations of misallocation of coal blocks, the PM said: "It has been my general practice not to respond to motivated criticism directed personally at me. My general attitude has been:

Hazaaron jawaabon se acchi hai meri khaamoshi

Na Jaane kitne sawaalon ki aabroo rakhi

But this is one occasion where I do want, and I ardently wish that I should be given the opportunity to speak to the Parliament, and also the public at large, and take them into confidence, but I am sorry that the House is not allowed to function, and that the BJP is determined to disrupt the normal functioning of Parliament.

I wish to assure the country that we have a very strong and credible case, the observations of the CAG are disputable, and they will be challenged when the matter comes before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee. So once again I appeal to the Opposition to come back to the House, to debate all these issues, and let the country judge where the truth lies."

August 27, 2012: The PM made a statement in Parliament on the Performance Audit Report on allocation of coal blocks and augmentation of coal production just before addressing the media.

July 28, 2012: The PM addressed people affected by the Assam riots which affected tribal Bodos, Assamese Muslims and migrant Muslims from Bangladesh.

December 27, 2011: The PM addressed the Lok Sabha on Lokpal Bill and called upon members of the House to support the government-sponsored Bill.

August 25, 2011: The PM addressed the Lok Sabha on corruption and on his government's measures to weed it out. Anna Hazare's agitation was at its peak. Just a week back, Anna and scores of India Against Corruption agitators had been arrested.

August 17, 2011: The PM made a statement in the Lok Sabha explaining the circumstances of Anna's arrest on August 16 and why the government had to act to break up the protest.

March 23, 2011: The PM made a statement in the Lok Sabha in the short duration discussion on the Wikileaks expose of secret American cables on the cash-for-vote scam that rocked the country in 2008. The PM had earlier addressed the House on the same matter on March 18, 2011.

February 22, 2011: The PM addressed the Lok Sabha on the 2G Spectrum scandal and announced his government's reluctant agreement to setting up of a JPC to look into the matter.

June 1, 2010: The PM's opening remarks at the first anniversary of UPA-II government underlined the programmes launched by the government and its goals.

July 29, 2009: The PM addressed the Lok Sabha on the debate on the PM's visit to Sharm al-Sheik where he released a controversial joint statement with the then Pakistan PM, Yousuf Raza Gilani.

November 27, 2008: The PM addressed the nation, a day after 10 terrorists struck at different locations of Mumbai in the biggest such attack on Indian soil. He spoke about his government's resolve to bring the guilty to book and weed out the scourge of terrorism.

July 22, 2008: The PM addressed the Lok Sabha in reply to the debate on the Motion of Confidence in the Lok Sabha, rebutting LK Advani's criticism of being a weak PM. It was later alleged by the Opposition that cash was used to secure vote after the Left Front withdrew support to UPA-I on the issue of the government going ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal.

June 4, 2008: Manmohan Singh addressed the nation to explain the steep increase in prices of food, essential commodities and fuel.

July 24, 1991: This is perhaps Manmohan Singh's most famous speech when as the finance minister, he presented the Budget to Parliament. He paraphrased Victor Hugo to say: "No power on Earth can stop an idea whose time has come."

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