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Advani accuses PM of not ensuring probity in government
April 30, 2008 19:07 IST
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani on Wednesday said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's [Images] personal integrity was beyond doubt, but accused him of not being able to ensure probity in his government.
The Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha also utilised the T R Baalu issue to hit out again at the Prime Minister for not responding to the Opposition demand to make a statement in Parliament.
"It is my understanding that neither the minister nor the Prime Minister is following a nationally accepted norm of governance in a parliamentary democracy," he said.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's personal integrity is beyond doubt. However, it is also beyond doubt that he is neither able nor trying to ensure probity in his government," Advani said, while delivering his valedictory address at the annual CII summit in New Delhi.
Advani accused Dr Singh of "exhibiting the same helplessness that he earlier did in acting against tainted ministers" when it came to dealing with corruption in his government.
"A Prime Minister must not only be incorruptible himself, but should also strive his utmost to ensure that his team members do not indulge in any corrupt activities," the senior BJP leader said.
He quoted the Watergate episode in US to drive home the importance of the integrity of the leaders in the top rung of various democratic institutions.
Without naming anyone, Advani alleged that many ministries in the United Progressive Alliance government are harming the country's reputation and development.
"Several ministers run their ministries as their own fiefdoms with no command or control, thus undermining India's development drive and the country's international reputation," he said.
Quoting Singh's speech in the same seminar on Tuesday, in which he called for greater political consensus and some nationally accepted norms of governance in the parliamentary system, Advani asked what norms the government was following on 'certain' crucial issues.
"The nation would have liked to know from the Prime Minister what nationally-accepted norms of governance the government is following on certain crucial issues," he said.
The Prime Minister, apart from "telling what the industry should do and what the opposition should do", must have told the nation "what his government is doing to bring down the prices essential commodities".
The BJP leader, whose party is now planning to make corruption a poll agenda in the wake of the row alleging Union Minister T R Baalu seeking favours from another ministry for alleged family gains, said corruption results in 'malignant growth'.
He said corruption leads to "moral degradation and the case of the minister seeking gas supply at concessional rates for businesses run by his sons is only a tip of the iceberg".
The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha said, "It is my firm belief that corruption is one of the biggest obstacles to inclusive and sustainable growth".