PM's interaction with television editors was a 'wretched exercise': Jayalalithaa

Chennai, Feb 21 (ANI): All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa on Monday criticized the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, saying his comments during an interaction with top television editors of the country was a 'wretched exercise', where he kept blaming 'compromises' imposed by 'coalition dharma' for most of the failings of the government.

Jayalalithaa, in a statement, today said: "Overall, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's live interaction with the media was not just a damp squib, it was a wretched exercise which showcased a weak-kneed head of state at his helpless best, taking cover for all the ills plaguing the Nation using the fragile shield of 'coalition dharma'!"

"An economist of repute, Dr. Manmohan Singh certainly cannot say that he was unaware about the loss the nation was being subjected to. He should have stepped in and stemmed the rot. But, in the interests of a nebulous factor called "coalition dharma", he remained silent. This is the sad reality confronting India today," she added.

During his interaction with top television editors of the country at his official 7 Race Course residence on February 16, Dr. Singh, while commenting on the 2G-spectrum scam said: "Since the Ministries of Finance and Telecom had agreed to continue with the existing policy of allocating 2G spectrum. I did not feel that I was in a position to insist that auction must be insisted."

On retaining Raja as the Telecom Minister in the UPA-II, Dr Singh said in a coalition government, the choices of the Leaders of the Alliance partners have to be accepted and that the DMK had suggested Raja and Dayanidhi Maran into the Union Cabinet.

"At that moment, there was no reason to feel that anything wrong had been done," he said.

Dr. Singh further said: "I wrote a letter to Raja on Nov 2, 2007. I listed a number of issues that you must look into and ensure they are dealt with in an equitable, fair and transparent manner. One of the issues that I asked him to look into was the possibility from the legal and technical angle of having an auction of spectrum."

"He wrote back to me on the same day saying I had been absolutely transparent in dealings I will be so in the future and you have my assurance that I have done nothing and I will do nothing that will be consistent to the promise that I have made to you," he added.

The Prime Minister said he did not press further after the ministries of Telecom and Finance agreed to go by the prevailing system of first-come first-served basis.

Jayalalithaa further said the Prime Minister has no control over his Council of Ministers.

"The Prime Minister also had no satisfactory answers to queries relating to ISRO's allocation of S-Band spectrum, the Commonwealth Games scam and the Adarsh Housing Society scam, none of which involved the tenuous issue of coalition dharma," she added.

Referring to the various scams that have been dominating headlines, Dr. Singh said : "I wish to assure the country as a whole our government is dead serious to bring to book all the wrongdoers regardless of their position in 2G spectrum, CWG, ISRO and Adarsh scams."

He added that the government was committed to rule of law, saying, "We should not do any thing to shake the self confidence of the people." (ANI)

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