civil servant — they should simply take action. Why constantly speak about it. I’ve noticed that Sheila Dikshit, Arvinder Singh have welcomed any action that the Delhi government might take. So why constantly harp on it. If there is material, take action.
In the budget ahead, do you think you will be able to stick to the fiscal deficit target set in the beginning of the year?
I have said the red line drawn for fiscal deficit at 4.8 per cent of the GDP will under no circumstances be breached. The prime minister has fully supported me on that matter. So I can confidently assert three weeks before the budget will be presented that we will not breach the 4.8 per cent target for fiscal deficit set for the current fiscal.
It is just three, four months before the country faces Lok Sabha polls. Given the outcome of assembly polls in five states, there is a perception that Congress has been written off.
I don’t agree with your perception that the Congress has been written off or will be written off. We were more or less in the same position in December 2008 and January 2009. We had the September 2008 global economic crisis, we had the November 2008 attack in Mumbai. December 2008 and January 2009 were pretty gloomy months for the Congress party and the UPA-I. Yet we won the elections in May 2009. I think it is too early to write off any political party. Yes, the situation appears to be difficult. But the challenge before any political party is to overcome a difficult situation. I think it is possible to overcome the difficult situation. What degree of success we will meet, I can’t say.
You have said a large number of seats should be given to the young...
Yes. I will be quite happy to give up my seat in favour of a younger candidate and campaign vigorously for that candidate.
Is Pondicherry a choice?
I have only read about it in a silly newspaper column. Pondicherry has a sitting MP who is a minister. I want to remind you of that.
Is Kanyakumari a choice?
I have not read about that in any silly newspaper column so far.
The UPA government introduced RTI, launched MNREGA and expanded it, and took several other policy measures aimed at benefiting the larger majority. But people want more. Is it putting a constraint on the UPA or on