WITH the opposition baying for the blood of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh over the 2G Telecom scandal, the beleaguered PM has agreed to appear before the Indian Parliament’s public accounts committee (PAC) but the move has failed to impress the Left parties. In an attempt to be theatric, Dr. Manmohan Singh, speaking at the Congress Plenary session, said that he may have made a number of mistakes during his six and a half years at the helm of Indian government, but he is ready to submit before the PAC headed by BJP leader, Mr. Murli Manohar Joshi, quoting from Renowned playwright William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” that like Caesar’s wife, the Prime Minister must be above suspicion. Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Party President, expressing solidarity with her besieged Prime Minister, called Manmohan Singh’s gesture of submitting before the PAC’s microscope as “inspiring”, stating that actions speak louder than words her five-point action plan against corruption would form the road-map for battling the cancer of corruption. The BJP is already dismissive of Manmohan Singh’s voluntary submission in a desperate motion to save his government.
The Daily Mail opines that it will take much more than a meek, submissive and docile Manmohan Singh to tackle the twelve headed hydra of corruption plaguing the Indian government. The cancer of corruption has permeated into the rank and core of Indian government as well as its armed forces to such an extent that every deal every acquisition, every project reeks of sleaze and perfidy. The recently concluded Commonwealth Games (CWG) brought India into disrepute because the extent of corruption was so high that it called for an independent inquiry. The CWG scandals, which commenced with the Baton Rally, continued with the construction of the CWG grounds, with leaky roofs, collapsing walkways, clogged toilets and the immoral use of sex workers to woo the foreign athletes. The level of corruption in Indian defence deals has been so high that its ministers have been caught with their hand in the till (remember Tehelka.com). As a direct result, Indian defence purchases and more noticeably its indigenous production have failed to get underway. The Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas which has become obsolete even before its launch, the Main Battle Tank Arjun, its various missile systems are all direct proof of the corruption gnawing at the roots of Indian bureaucracy band armed forces. Ms Gandhi’s plan, unveiled in her presidential speech comprising the fast-tracking of all corruption cases against bureaucrats and politicians with a definite timeframe and Congress chief ministers and ministers, including those at the Centre, giving up discretionary powers, especially in land allotment, that breed corruption, will cut little ice with the perpetrators of greed and insatiable appetite for corruption.
The Indian opposition parties have virtually rejected the Prime Minister’s offer saying if he has nothing to hide and can appear before the PAC then why he cannot appear before the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). Tarun Vijay, the BJP Spokesman, declared that the PAC had a limited jurisdiction and it could work under the purview of the comptroller and auditor general only. He said that first they do corruption, and then they want to decide who should probe into it. He stressed that the current government has lost all moral authority to stay in power. It has conducted loot much larger than the British empire had carried out when it ruled the country. The BJP announced that the country should be prepared for a mid-term poll. President of the BJP’s youth wing – the BJP Yuva Morcha – Anurag Thakur, who also addressed the media said that the youth wing will start Rashtriya Ekta Yatra from Kolkata on January 12. The yatra is being conducted to highlight the Jammu and Kashmir issue. It will culminate in Srinagar on January 26 by unfurling the Tricolour at Lal Chowk there. Dr. Manmohan Singh’s theatrics may endear him to Soniaji but not to the vitriolic opposition or the Indian voters – Dailymailnews