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Weak PM lived in denial

Weak PM lived in denial

Author: Arun Jaitley
Publication: The Times of India
Date: April 7, 2009
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/COUNTERVIEW__Weak_PM_lived_in_denial/articleshow/4366629.cms

The track record of the UPA government on the issue of corruption is dismal. When Prime minister Manmohan Singh first formed his cabinet he was accused of having criminalised the council of ministers. Ministers of the cabinet had criminal cases pending against them. The taint was removed through a clean-up operation. Public prosecutors were changed and the CBI actively cooperated with the accused. The taint was washed off not through an honourable process but by misusing governmental authority. The CBI has never been as misused ever before.

The cases against the BSP and the SP chiefs were activated or covered up depending on whether the support of their parties was required for the survival of the UPA government. In fact, the CBI is the catalyst for possible electoral alliances in Uttar Pradesh. The motion of confidence survived on the purchase of MPs. The UPA used its brutal parliamentary majority to cover up the "cash for votes'' by disregarding documentary, video and oral evidence.

The CBI was misused to get Mayawati's vote for presidential elections but when it was over the noose tightened around her. When Mulayam went with the UPA, his trail went cold according to the CBI. When he moved away from the UPA, the CBI was back on his trail. The entire Quattrocchi episode showed how the government lost the case by colluding with the crown prosecution authorities in London to defreeze his account.

A weak prime minister was compelled to offer infrastructural ministries like surface transport involving national highways construction to tainted ministers. Infrastructure growth during the UPA government suffered due to corruption. The development of special economic zones became a major land scandal during the government's tenure. Manmohan Singh is a weak leader. Too weak to be corrupt himself, he is weaker still when it comes to stopping the corrupt. His attitude in office was to look the other way when there was corruption and live in denial.

- The writer is a senior BJP leader.

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