Hyderabad: Accusing Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh of becoming a "shield" to the corrupt, Telugu Desam
Party president N Chandrababu Naidu demanded bringing the
Prime Minister under the ambit of the proposed Lokpal Bill.
"The Prime Minister shouldn’t try to escape scrutiny.
Bringing the Prime Minister under the Lokpal`s purview is only
in relation to corruption charges and not to undermine the
seat`s authority," Chandrababu Naidu told a press conference
at the TDP headquarters here on Friday.
"We have the highest respect for the office of Prime
Minister, but why can`t the Prime Minister be probed while in
office, if he faces allegations of corruption ?" the TDP chief
The former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh recalled that
Rajiv Gandhi and P V Narasimha Rao faced allegations of
corruption when they held the office of Prime Minister. He
also pointed out that a series of scandals have surfaced under
"The Prime Minister himself pleaded helplessness in
acting against the corrupt because of `compulsions of the
coalition government`. This was only to protect his seat.
Things have come to such a pass only because of the Prime
Minister’s inaction," Chandrababu added.
The draft Lokpal Bill, cleared by the Union Cabinet
yesterday, was totally "teethless" and intended to befool the
people, he pointed out, adding that it would further erode the
dignity of political leaders in the country.
"Political leaders have already become `role models` in
making a fast buck. It is high time we cleansed the whole
system and brought about political purity. The civil society
and the spiritual leaders are taking a lead role only because
the political system has failed to effectively contain
corruption and black money," Chandrababu observed.
He called upon all political parties to initiate the
process for cleansing the systems in the country and rooting
out corruption that has become a bigger threat than terrorism.
"Along with a strong Lokpal, we need laws to bring about
political reforms and electoral reforms. Let us all (parties)
sit together and discuss these things and build a
corruption-free nation," Chandrababu said and vowed to fight
along with like-minded parties for a stronger Lokpal.