With the corruption taint taking away much of the sheen from his government, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged that cases such as 2G spectrum allocation, CWG and Adarsh cooperative housing scams had “brought public focus on the issue of corruption in public life”.
“These were legitimate concerns and the UPA government is determined to take corrective action,” the prime minister said on Sunday while addressing UPA-II’s second anniversary dinner. He, at the same time, said there was no question of being demoralised and that these cases were “a few aberrations”.
That the popular outrage over corruption had emerged as a serious cause of concern within the Congress was also reflected in party president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s speech, when she described “transparency, accountability and probity in governance” as an important plank of the government.
While promising to usher in probity and accountability in governance, the Congress president hit out at the BJP for its double-speak on corruption.
The second anniversary took place against the backdrop of a special CBI court packing DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi off to the Tihar jail for her alleged involvement in the 2G scam and the subsequent reports of growing discontent within the Dravidian outfit over the Congress’ failure to protect their interests.
But the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, T R Baalu, not only attended the dinner, but was also seated next to Sonia Gandhi both during the formal presentation of the government’s report-card and at the dinner table. It demonstrated the Congress’ anxiety to keep the DMK, which has 18 members in the Lok Sabha, in good humour.
The PM, while expressing concern over the soaring food and fuel prices, lavished praise on his government’s handling of the economy. He said if the country kept up with the momentum, “India will soon emerge as the fasted growing economy in the world.”
The Congress president said the twin bills of land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement, along with Lok Pal bill, would be introduced in the monsoon session of Parliament. Economic Times