BJP joins issue with PM on graft



New Delhi: The BJP on Thursday joined issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his statement that an attempt is being made to create an environment of pessimism over corruption, saying it can be ended by banishing corruption, probing graft cases and punishing the guilty.

"Yes, the Prime Minister is right when he says there is an environment of cynicism or negativism. The poison which perpetuates this negativism must be expunged from the system. That alone will create a positive environment," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

Jaitley issued a written statement to take on Singh over his comments at the CBI conference yesterday.

He maintained it would have been better if the Prime Minister had "honestly introspected" as to why this environment has been created in the first place.

Addressing 19th annual conference of CBI and state anti-corruption units here yesterday, Singh had said, "The mindless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism that is sought to be created over the issue of corruption can do us no good."

Jaitley suggested the way to end this and create a positive environment is to "banish corruption, investigate corruption cases honestly and punish the corrupt".

BJP enumerated the scams which have taken place under UPA rule and alleged how appropriate steps were not taken to bring the culprits to book.

"If you put a lid on cases of corruption, the cynicism in negativism will grow. Popular anger has emerged because of a lack of accountability. Probity and accountability alone will eliminate this negativism," Jaitley said.

He referred to the controversy over Congress president Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's business links and alleged the way senior ministers were defending the "indefensible" shows "loyalty is more important than probity" in the ruling party.

PTI