Hunger strike won't address corruption: Manmohan Singh

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Aug 15: After hoisting the tri-colour flag at Red Fort on 64th Independence Day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the government has no magic wand to deal with the growing corruption in the country, but urged all political parties to "stand shoulder to shoulder" to fight against corruption.

Amid the surging corruption charges against his UPA-II government, Manmohan Singh promised a strong Lokpal Bill to end corruption. Indirectly commenting on Anna Hazare's fast, which begins on Tuesday, Aug 16, PM said that hunger strikes will not help address the problem.

Rubbishing Team Anna's demand for revision of the proposed Lokpal Bill, PM said that only Parliament can decide what type of Lokpal legislation can be enacted.

"I am aware of the differences of opinion on some aspects of the bill. Those who don't agree with this bill can put forward their views to Parliament, political parties and even the press. However, I also believe they should not resort to hunger strikes and fasts-unto-death," Singh said.

Dr Singh also added that while corruption is a biggest threat to the nation, the conversation on how to eradicate corruption from the country itself became another huddle for country's progress. He also added that corruption was a "big obstacle" for India's transformation to a global economic power.

"In the last few months many instances of corruption have come to light. In some cases, functionaries of the Central government face allegations of corruption. In other cases, it is the functionaries of various state governments," PM added.

During his 40-minute Independence Day speech from Red Fort, Manmohan Singh admitted that many funds meant for common people's development were looted by corrupt government officials.

"Corruption manifests itself in many forms. In some instances, funds meant for schemes for the welfare of the common man end up in the pocket of government officials. In some other instances government discretion is used to favour a selected few."

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