PM hits back at Team Anna over corruption allegations against him
New Delhi, May 29 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, on Tuesday termed the corruption allegations made against him by Team Anna to be irresponsible and unfortunate.
"I will give up my public life if allegations are proved against me," Dr Singh told reporters on his way back home from Myanmar.
Supreme Court lawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan had earlier in the day criticized the Prime Minister, saying that the ruling Congress Party had been using his honest credentials as a 'shield' while perpetrating corruption with brazen impunity.
Bhushan questioned the Prime Minister's perceived hesitancy in dealing with corrupt minister and coalition allies.
"In the wake of certain reports suggesting that nearly half the cabinet ministers, and some very senior and influential minister are corrupt, or that despite being aware of their conduct, the Prime Minister continues to retain these persons in his cabinet, or that he had turned a blind eye towards corruption in a ministry under his control, then we ask what is the use of such honesty and integrity?" Bhushan told media in Uttar Pradesh's Ghaziabad city.
"The Congress party repeatedly hails the honesty of the Prime Minister. He is projected as an honest leader of the government. So, I had said the Congress party was trying to use the Prime Minister and his clean image as a shield, just like the character of Shikhandi was used in the Hindu epic Mahabharata," he added.
Bhushan further called for the establishment of an independent panel to probe the allegations of graft levelled against senior cabinet ministers.
"The probe into allegations of corruption leveled against such senior and influential cabinet ministers must be carried out by an agency independent of the government. If the leaders are clear and honest and have not done anything wrong, then why are they shying away from the investigation? They must welcome the probe and cooperate," he said.
Team Anna had earlier accused 14 senior ministers, besides the Prime Minister, of having either supported or indulging in corruption and nepotism.
The government had, however, earlier denounced Team Anna's demand for an independent probe into the allegations of corruption against the Prime Minister and 14 other ministers, terming it an "act of desperation" by a group seeking to become relevant again. (ANI)
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