President Pratibha Patil’s address to the joint session of the Parliament has left the public unimpressed. While the government has painstakingly attempted to project its agenda in a hallucinated garb, the people this time are unconvinced. From shooting prices to a spate of scams and scandals the people have witnessed the dismal picture underlining the huge chasm between words and actions of the government. Isn’t it ironical that the government keeps shifting its stance? While it promises in Parliament to bring back the black money, it expresses its inability to do so before the Supreme Court, calling it a “cumbersome task?” How can one repose faith in the President’s statement that the government stands committed to improving the quality of governance and enhancing transparency, probity and integrity in public life, when the nation has witnessed political mismanagement, rampant corruption and endless scams and scandals and the Prime Minister himself has said that coalition politics is a stumbling block. According to the President, a Group of Ministers (GoM) has been formed to take measures to tackle corruption, improve transparency, review public procurement policy and abolition of discretionary powers enjoyed by ministers, introduction of an open and competitive system of exploiting natural resources, fast tracking of cases against public servants charged with corruption, and making amendments to the relevant law to facilitate quicker action against public servants. Can anyone explain why this did not happen in the last seven years?

The President also discussed economy, saying that the government is deeply concerned over the adverse impact of inflation on the common man and the threat it poses to the growth momentum. This proposition has also no merit to charm the aam adami because the UPA-government has been busy citing reasons of skyrocketing prices for three years rather than taking any concrete step to rein it. The way President Patil address related to the Woman Reservation Bill and change in the security system after 26/11, shows the government has nothing new in its kitty to offer people. The President’s address was simply a rehash of assurances made by the government earlier. The Opposition has rebuffed the speech saying it is simply a catalogue of the government’s failures .Though the President’s address to the joint session of the Parliament at the beginning of Budget session is billed to be customary, yet it should strike a positive note in order to boost people’s confidence in the government.