Look within on corruption, Sonia tells Team AnnaNovember 9th, 2011 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS
Chamoli (Uttarakhand), Nov 9 (IANS) Saying that corruption cannot be erased by “mere talk” or accusing others, Congress president Sonia Gandhi Wednesday hit out at Team Anna for raising “a hue and cry” on the Lokpal bill despite the prime minister’s assurances. She also pointedly reminded them that it was the National Advisory Council headed by her that first started work on a bill to fight graft.
In a speech read out in absentia at a rally, Gandhi also declared that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) were committed to presenting the bill in parliament and implementing it.
Gandhi, who could not attend the erally due to fever, said people should not just point fingers at others on the issue of corruption but “look within”. She criticised Team Anna for threatening another agitation on the Lokpal bill.
Gandhi was supposed to address a rally in Gauchar in Chamoli district, her first since returning after a surgery abroad.
“You would know that it was the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by me which had first started public consultations for a Lokpal. You also know that prime minister has said, our party has repeatedly said that we are in favour of an effective, strong Lokpal bill. The bill will be presented in the parliament and we will implement it. I feel what is the need of making so much hue and cry,” Gandhi said in the speech, read out by Defence Minister A.K. Antony.
Hitting out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Team Anna, Gandhi said that corruption cannot be fought by mere talk and by thinking that “our corruption is a pure deed and corruption of the others is corruption”.
“There is a lot of talk on corruption these days. There is no doubt that corruption is a big disease and is prevalent in some way at every level. There is need to build atmosphere against it. Corruption cannot be eradicated by mere talk, it cannot be eradicated by only raising fingers at one another. Every one will have to look within,” Gandhi said.
“The corruption will not be eradicated if one thinks that our corruption is a pure deed and corruption of the other is corruption. Today a lot of this is happening,” Gandhi said in an obvious reference to Team Anna, some of whose members have faced allegations of financial misconduct.
After Gandhi cancelled her programme, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi laid the foundation stone of the 125 km-long Rishikesh-Karanprayag rail project near the Gauchar airstrip
The rally was being seen as the launch of the Congress’s campaign for the upcoming state assembly polls.
Gandhi expressed concern over rising prices and said it was increasing the burden on the common man. She said the government should try to take every step that brings relief to the common man.
“This can happen only with the support of both the Central and state governments,” Gandhi said.
“I admit that the government also has a lot of difficulties and this problem (price rise) is there in almost all the countries. But when the whole world was passing through economic recession, we remained untouched,” she said.
Earlier, Gandhi expressed grief over the loss of lives in Tuesday’s stampede at Haridwar.
She said the government had made provisions for 50 percent reservation for women in panchayati raj institutions.
Gandhi said the UPA government was also planning to connect Tanakpur-Bageshwar, Tanakpur-Jaulgivi and Ramnagar-Chaukutiya rail links in the border state to boost employment and tourism.
The Congress president is a star campaigner and the party is banking heavily on her crowd-pulling abilities in the five states of Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand going to the polls next year.
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Tags: agitation, anot, bharatiya janata party, bjp, congress president sonia gandhi, defence minister, graft, hue and cry, manmohan, manmohan singh, nac, national advisory council, no doubt, point fingers, prime minister manmohan, prime minister manmohan singh, progressive alliance, public consultations, UPA, uttarakhand