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Respect for PM office’s restored under NDA govt: Rathore

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Rajyavardhan Singh RathoreHyderabad: Dismissing allegations that the NDA government is a one-man show and that ministers have been reduced to “toys,” Union Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore today said that the respect for the Prime Minister’s office has been restored under the present rule.

“At least, the Prime Minister is taking decisions now.

The office of the Prime Minister is getting the respect that is due to it now. The allegation now is that ministers are toys and at least not that the Prime Minister is a toy,” he told reporters here.

He was replying to a query on the opposition charge that ministers in the NDA government are “toys” and former Union Minister S Jaipal Reddy’s claim that senior leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj have been sidelined.

“I would like to appreciate Sushma Swaraj ji, the grace with which she puts across India’s point of view abroad. For that reason, if you see the latest a magazine, Sushma Swaraj’s name is there among the best performing ministers,” Rathore said.

The Union Minister was here to present a “report card” on the NDA government’s first year in office.

“Advaniji is at such an age where he can give guidance and direction. Ministers can work hard for 20 out of 24 hours.

If Advaniji is to work for such long hours, then it is a lacuna in our young generation. If mummy, papa are there (reference to Jaipal Reddy’s criticism), then more such words can be attached to it. They keep on saying ‘soot-boot ki sarkar’, then ‘loot-phoot’ sarkar would also come,” he said.

Various surveys and rating agencies have given a positive assessment of the NDA government’s performance in the first year, Rathore said.

Replying to a query, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to take everyone along and believes in working as a team which also comprised Chief Ministers.

Chief Ministers have been made a part of the newly constituted planning body ‘Niti Ayog’ and given a role in policy formulation, he said.

He highlighted the substantial revenue generated through coal blocks and spectrum allocation, foreign policy initiatives that enhanced the prestige of India in the neighbourhood and on the world stage, the innovative social security schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Suraksha Yojana among the major achievements of NDA in its first year.

Replying to a query on allowing FM channels to broadcast news, he said the UPA government did not allow it in phase-II auction and that the government for now decided that AIR’s content would be broadcast as it is.

PTI

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