''PM weak-kneed head of state taking cover in coalition dharma''

Chennai, Feb 21 (PTI) Charging Prime Minister ManmohanSingh with having "silently watched" the 2G spectrum scam,AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa today said he was a "weak-kneed headof state taking cover under coalition dharma."

Describing Singh''s recent interaction with the electronicmedia as a "wretched exercise" and a "damp squib", she said,"He (PM) was at his helpless best, taking cover for all theills plaguing the nation, using the fragile shield ofcoalition dharma."

She said in a hard-hitting statement that the PrimeMinister repeatedly kept blaming "compromises" imposed by"coalition dharma" for most of his government''s failings.

On appointment of Raja as Telecom Minister in UPA-2,despite being under the scanner over the spectrum scam, Singhhad said it was not his choice, but imposed by a coalitionpartner, the AIADMK leader said.

Pointing out that the Constitution has vested in the PrimeMinister the power to choose his Council of Ministers, shesaid it is perfectly all right for him to consult his partychief and even his alliance partners on specifics.

"But to admit in a media briefing that he had no role inselecting a particular cabinet minister and to claim that hishand was forced virtually amounts to admission of totaldisregard for the Constitution," she said.

She also said that on being questioned about his "silence"on adopting a first-come-first-served policy for allottingspectrum, Singh said he had written to Raja about hisconcerns, to which he had replied that it would betransparent.

"Based on this assurance, the Prime Minister had silentlywatched as the nation was subjected to a Rs 1.76 lakh croreloss. An economist of repute, Dr Manmohan Singh certainlycannot say he was unaware about the loss. He should havestepped in and stemmed the rot. But in the interests of anebulous factor called ''coalition dharma'', he remained silent.

This is the sad reality confronting India today.

"We have a Prime Minister, who not only has no controlover his Council of Ministers, but also cannot step in evenwhen he sees things going out of hand," she charged.

She said the Prime Minister Singh had "no satisfactoryanswers" to queries on ISRO''s allocation of S-Band spectrum,the CWG scam and Adarsh Housing Society scam, "none of whichinvolved the tenuous issue of coalition dharma." PTI SA SR APR

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