Conniving with corruption? Not me, says PM
Taking exception to personal attack on him, a "hurt" Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said he may have "made mistakes" but he firmly repudiated charges of conniving with corruption and asked the Opposition to verify his assets.
Taking a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha, particularly Murli Manohar Joshi, he said during his seven years as Prime Minister opposition members have accused him of "many crimes" but he had "never used harsh language in describing the conduct of any member" of the House.
Referring to Joshi's remarks during the debate on corruption on Wednesday, he said the BJP leader had made a "powerful speech" and made a "personal attack on me as if I am the fountainhead of corruption and that I have knowingly connived with corruption of some of my colleagues."
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'When charges are leveled against me, it hurts'
Dr Singh cited his contribution to the country first as Finance Minister in 1990s and now as Prime Minister and said, "I did make a small contribution in my own way to enhance the prestige of the country and, therefore, when charges are leveled against me, it hurts. But I am not going to convert this forum into a forum of accusation one way or the other.
"All I can say is that if any wrong has been done by me, I invite the Leader of the Opposition to look at my property which I may have accumulated in the last 41 years. I would accept the verdict of the Leader of the Opposition if they find that I have used public office to amass wealth for myself or for any member of my family," he said.
Dr Singh said that in the course of seven years as Prime Minister, he may have made mistakes. "Who is above making mistakes? To err is human but to accuse me of evil intentions, of conniving with corruption is a charge I firmly repudiated," the Prime Minister said.