Projecting himself as a leader who does not succumb to pressures, Narendra Modi today targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his refrain about “coalition compulsions”, saying alliances cannot be blamed for corruption.
The BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate underlined that those at the helm should adopt zero tolerance policy against corruption rather than indulging in blame-game.
“Instead of calling coalitions as compulsions, the question is whether you have zero tolerance policy towards corruption or not. And if the people at the top are resolute in this aspect, then the situation can improve. So the coalitions should not be blamed,” Modi said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister, while attending a function here, was responding when somebody in the audience said that Manmohan Singh often blames “coalition compulsion” for various problems and asked what would be his approach if he becomes the Prime Minister.
Singh had blamed “coalition compulsion” when he was attacked for not taking action against the then Telecom Minister A Raja in connection with the 2G spectrum scam. Raja belonged to DMK, a key partner in the UPA.
Modi said the governments should be run to meet the objectives for which they are formed and there is no point in leading a government which is unable to do so.
In this context, he portrayed himself as a strong leader. “The main grudge against me is that I don’t succumb to pressure….there are people who have made a living on the basis of this grudge,” he said, evoking laughter.
Refusing to accept that coalition compulsion was the reason for problems, Modi asked why Pawan Kumar Bansal, who belongs to Congress, had to resign as Railway Minister in the wake of a controversy related to an appointment in the Railway Board about two years ago.
He said the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was worked as a coalition but despite that there were no stain of corruption on it.
Hitting out at the Centre, the Gujarat Chief Minister said important constitutional institutions like the CAG and the CVC have been brought to the “brink of destruction” and wondered how the nation could function without appropriate checks and balances.
Referring to the controversy related to the appointment of P J Thomas as the CVC, Modi said such a situation had arisen where the court had to step in to quash the appointment of the person chosen by the government.
He said that in the public discourse a lot was being said about what should be done after corruption has been committed but added that little was being said on how technology could be used to curb corruption.
Speaking at an event where many Chartered Accountants and finance professionals were present, Modi said that his party was not opposed to the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and instead blamed the central government for not doing the required preparation of its implementation.
Speaking further on the issue, he said the central government should address the concerns of the issues.
Modi also expressed grief at the deaths of Navy personnel who were aboard the submarine INS Sindhuratna.