Have deepest regard for PM: Team Anna (Lead)

May 30th, 2012 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Ghaziabad, May 30 (IANS) Faced with a frontal attack from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Team Anna said Wednesday it had the “deepest regard” for him but wanted to know where a first information report (FIR) could be registered against an allegedly corrupt minister.

“We have the deepest regard for the prime minister…but we want to know which agency can register an FIR against a minister,” Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal told reporters at his residence in this Delhi suburb.

Kejriwal also wondered “why the prime minister had overlooked the advice of the coal secretary to auction coal blocks”.

The remarks came a day after a combative Manmohan Singh said he would quit public life if any allegation of corruption against him was proved.

Also on Tuesday, Team Anna member N. Santosh Hegde distanced himself from the group’s demand for an inquiry against the prime minister and 14 allegedly corrupt ministers.

Manmohan Singh’s reaction came after Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan had attacked him personally Monday.

A statement posted on the India Against Corruption said: “We also feel that that the prime minister is honest and he would not have taken benefits for himself straight. But according to the CAG (Comptroller & Auditor General), there was a scam. Then who benefitted from it? This should be investigated independently…We want to tell the prime minister that we are not indulging in politics; we are common citizens of this country, who are suffering from corruption and inflation.”

The statement went on to ask: “If a minister indulges in corruption, which is that agency which is independent of the government, where an FIR against this corruption can be registered?”

“If the minister, against whom there are allegations of corruption, says that he did not indulge in corruption or if the prime minister says that he did not indulge in corruption, then without an independent investigation, should the country accept the matter?”

Team Anna had last week charged the prime minister and 14 cabinet ministers of “massive” corruption and sought an independent probe into the charges. Team Anna also questioned the role of Manmohan Singh in the coal scam unearthed by the CAG. The prime minister held the coal portfolio from November 2006 to May 2009.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal said Anna Hazare and his associates will participate in yoga guru Baba Ramdev fast here June 3 to mark the first anniversary of his forcible eviction from the Ramlila ground where he was protesting against corruption.

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