'Mindless negativity damaging image'

Last Updated 10 October 2012, 20:10 IST

In a veiled attack on anti-graft campaigner Arvind Kejriwal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said mindless negativity and pessimism will damage the country’s image.

“The mindless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism that is sought to be created over the issue of corruption can do us no good,” Singh said at the 19th annual conference of the CBI and the anti-corruption bureaus here.

Asserting that his “government stands firm in its commitment to do everything possible to ensure probity, transparency and accountability in the work of public authorities,” the prime minister said such an atmosphere “can only damage our nation’s image and hit the morale of the executive.”

The prime minister’s assertions have come at a time when the Congress-led UPA government appears to be cornered by the opposition parties and the civil society on graft charges. Reacting to the prime minister’s remarks, BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said: “The mindful application of the government machinery and the legal system to promote corruption will certainly lead us to disaster.”

Kejriwal and lawyer Prashant Bhushan stirred up a hornet’s nest with their allegations of quid pro quo deals between Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress president Sonia
Gandhi and real eastate giant DLF.

In a press conference here on October 5, the anti-graft campaigners alleged that Vadra had secured interest-free loan of Rs 65 crore from DLF. The money was allegedly used to acquire properties worth several crores from the same company, below the market price.
While Vadra brushed off the allegations as “utterly baseless,” the Congress, coming in defence of the 42-year-old businessman, described the charges as “absurd.”

Replying to queries on why Vadra has not come out with detailed point-by-point explanation to defend himself, Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said: “Unless the allegations are substantiated, we cannot come out to clarify anyone and everyone’s absurd allegations.”

Meanwhile, Kejriwal has demanded resignation of Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid citing financial irregularities in the NGO run by his wife.

(Published 10 October 2012, 20:10 IST)

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