Mamata calls for corruption-free politics

There was a debate on the topic `In the opinion of the house, India will be better run if politicians are left out of the country`.

Updated: Feb 19, 2011, 08:14 AM IST

Kolkata: A debate on the topic `In the opinion of the house, India will be better run if politicians are left out of the country`, saw union ministers Mamata Banerjee and Salman Khurshid opposing the motion saying that politicians are needed for the betterment of the country with the Trinamool Congress chief calling for freeing politics from corrupt people.

Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid along with sociologist Dipankar Gupta, journalist Swapan Dasgupta and marketing consultant Suhel Seth spoke in favour of the motion which was defeated with an overwhelming majority of the audience at Netaji Indoor Stadium raising their hands against it when it was put to vote by the moderator of the debate organised by an Indian newspaper.

Dravid said, "If you have people in the government who are tainted by corruption and incompetence then it brings down the image of the country."

The motion in favour was defeated with an overwhelming majority of the audience at Netaji Indoor Stadium.

Banerjee, who led the side that spoke against the motion that also included BJD MP Jay Panda and author Ramchandra Guha.

"If some people are bad we do not support. You only mention Raja (the former telecom minister A Raja). What I want to say is there no betting in cricket Rahulji?" Betting and
batting everything is there," she said.

"Some good people may be in every part of life and bad people are also there. You only mention Raja and Commonwealth Games Scam. But you only mention 0.1 per cent, you did not mention about 99 percent," Banerjee said.

"We should get rid of the corrupt politicians so also those who are doing betting in cricket," she said.

"The important thing is that we must stop being cynical saying that things have gone wrong. A lot has gone right in the media and a lot has gone right in cricket because you are led by good politicians," Khurshid said.

"I think we are lucky because in India we have general elections while our neighbours and some other countries there was election of generals," Khurshid, Union Minister for Water Resources and Minority Affairs said.

Earlier Dravid said, "We need people in the politics who have knowledge and skills."

Suggesting the need for accountability and performance, the former India captain said, "In cricket, if you play bad you get dropped."

Referring to Banerjee`s published comments that there is no bad politics but only good and bad politicians, he said, "In the same way there may be bad cricketers. But bad cricketers do not play for this country. Bad cricketer get exposed. Can we say the same about our ministers. It is nice to see that sometimes ministers are dropped for corruption and are sacked on corruption. But should only corruption issue be the criterion. What about performance? You cannot make corruption the lone yardstick."

PTI