Mamata echoes ‘honest’ PM on Hazare fast

August 23rd, 2011 - 10:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 23 (IANS) Breaking her silence on Anna Hazare’s fast for a strong anti-corruption law, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday virtually echoed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying comprehensive reforms were needed to root out corruption and questioned the need for raising a hue and cry outside parliament when it was due to discuss a bill on the issue.

Banerjee, whose Trinamool Congress is the second-largest partner of the ruling United Progressive Alliance after the Congress, called for judicial, administrative, administrative and electoral reforms to fight the menace of corruption.

She said a system has to be put in place to unearth black money and prevent siphoning of state funds.

Banerjee also vouched for the personal probity of Manmohan Singh.

“We are against corruption. Our prime minister is an honest man. He is not corrupt,” she said.

Responding to reporters’ queries on Hazare’s fast that entered day eight Tuesday, she said: “Lot of people are airing their views. They have every right to do so. But I would also like to say why so much ruckus is being raised when the issue (the Lokpal bill) is awaiting discussion in parliament.”

Asked about her party’s stand on the proposed bill, she said: “When it is tabled, all parties will state their position. We will also give our opinion.”

Speaking at a programme in Kolkata Monday, Manmohn Singh had said the government was open for debate on the Lokpal bill but corruption could be tackled only by action on multiple fronts and not by enacting a single piece of law.

The prime minister had called for judicial reforms to ensure speedy trials and timely judgments that would “do a great deal to discourage corruption and dispel the notion that those who break the law can get away scot free”.

He also called for comprehensive restructuring of the government system and procedures to make the process transparent, reforms on funding of polls and political parties “to reduce the scope for generation of black money”.

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