New Delhi: Observing that the country was yet to mature to multi-party governance, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Saturday said it is impossible to eradicate corruption in a coalition government as "trade-offs" become necessary in such a dispensation.
"It is impossible to eradicate corruption in a coalition government," Omar said at the Hindustan Times Summit programme titled `What India needs: Perspective of young leaders`.
During the discussion, in which Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal also participated, Omar was asked whether whether it was difficult to fight corruption in a coalition government.
"I believe that you can fight corruption but I also believe it is impossible to eradicate corruption in a coalition dispensation and that is the way it is.
"This is my opinion and you can have yours. This opinion is formed not because I am a Chief Minister of a coalition government for a few years, but this opinion is formed by the last more than a decade of electoral politics, both with UPA and NDA.
The Chief Minister, who was a Minister of State in the NDA regime also, said, "I believe both governments would have wanted to do more to fight corruption but they found themselves in coalition where unfortunately trade-offs become necessary".
Omar said it was the regional parties and not the states, which dictate the policy to the Centre and cited Foreign Direct Investment in retail as an example.
"Jammu and Kashmir government should have been free to decide whether it wanted FDI in retail or West Bengal Government would have been free to stop it. But at the end, regional parties were able to call the shots," he said.