Bansal rejects Team Anna's corruption charges against PM



Chandigarh: A day after Team Anna clubbed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with 14 other Cabinet Ministers whom they accused of being involved in corruption, a senior UPA minister on Sunday rejected the charges stating the world has accepted Singh's leadership qualities.

"Now everybody can well understand their (Team Anna's) intentions as they are accusing a person of Dr Singh's stature", Union Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said on Team Anna targeting the Prime Minister.

"The world has accepted our Prime Minister's leadership qualities...Even top leaders have said that if the world had 5-7 leaders like him, which I have heard (US President) Barack Obama say, that it would change the world", Bansal told PTI on the sidelines of a function to pay tributes to Nehru on his death anniversary.

"Some people in this country regard themselves above society and the system. I do not want to comment on unsubstantiated averments made by anyone. Out of the population of 120 crore in the country, there are many self-serving people who regard themselves above society and the system", Bansal said here.

The Congress MP from Chandigarh said that some people do not appreciate the system which this country has and failed to distinguish between "mobocracy (mob mentality) and democracy".

"Some believe that by making noise and raising fingers at the Prime Minister and senior politicians, they have their way", the minister asserted.

Bansal said that such people cannot face the electoral battle themselves and their sole agenda is confined to discrediting the government.

Cautioning the public to remain alert and keep away from such people, he said, "there is no dearth of people who want to misuse democracy".

"The present system was chosen after due deliberations among country's top leaders when it attained freedom. The Constitution was drafted by BR Ambedkar with Jawaharlal Nehru...Which is working perfectly well", Bansal said.

"There is total answerability and accountability of the elected government and we have to nourish that system", he said.

The minister declined to comment on Team Anna's demand for an independent special investigation team by July 24.

On Yoga Guru Ramdev often targeting the UPA Government on various fronts, Bansal saw a co-relation between his offensives and the "FERA/FEMA notices" to him.

Taking a dig at Ramdev, he said, "Those who took benefit from the system built massive ashrams and got huge chunks of land. When they started commercial activities and under that if any officer doing his duty served FERA/FEMA notices, then to express his displeasure, he launches attack and does not even spare the Prime Minister".

On the hike in prices of petrol this week, Bansal said though it was a "painful decision" the Government had "little option".

"We have to think about how judiciously we have to use our scarce natural resources, crude oil being one of those. As a Minister of Water Resources, I add further to it that there is scarcity of water as a resource and it's time we sit up and think how we use this resource", he added.

PTI