Manmohan Singh is no longer Mr Clean: Pakistani daily

August 17th, 2011 - 12:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Islamabad, Aug 17 (IANS) Corruption has “badly tarnished” the image of the Congress government and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh no longer enjoys the reputation of being Mr Clean, says a Pakistani daily.

The editorial appeared in the News International Wednesday, a day after Gandhian activist Anna Hazare, 74, was arrested in Indian capital New Delhi and taken to jail for wanting to sit on a hunger strike to seek a strong anti-corruption law. He was later set free, but refused to leave the prison.

The editorial said: “Across the border, the issue of corruption has been rearing its ugly head quite frequently in recent months. The image of the Congress government and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself has been badly tarnished. Singh, previously known as ‘Mr Clean’ no longer enjoys this reputation.”

It said that the bill the Indian government has proposed to deal with corruption has itself become a source of controversy.

Under the Lokpal Bill, an ombudsman-like body would be set up to independently examine complaints of wrongdoing.

“The problem lies in the fact that the prime minister’s own office and the judiciary have been left out of the purview of the proposed law, raising a slew of questions as to why this should be the case.”

It went on to say that the matter had been taken up by the anti-corruption movement in India and notably by veteran activist Anna Hazare.

The editorial said that Anna Hazare’s arrest and the resultant uproar has led to a “delicate” situation with other anti-corruption groups backing him.

“The outcome of the battle between Hazare and the government will be interesting to observe. But what is worth noting in our own context is the fact that corruption is an issue that civil society in India has taken up as one that needs to be combatted with force and energy - this is something we can learn from.

“There is clearly a greater need to protest graft in our own country…,” it said, adding: “Clearly, India too is far from corruption-free, but it is a good omen that so many Indians are putting up a serious fight against corruption.”

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