During discussion on the Aircel-Maxis deal, Lok Sabha MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav demanded that corrupt politicians and bureaucrats be hanged as punishment. His comment —- that all politicians are corrupt — drew sharp reactions in the House, leading Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu to intervene.
Why do you think the corrupt should be hanged?
This is the only way to eradicate corruption — by giving maximum punishment to the corrupt. How else can you tackle corruption when the most powerful, the politicians and the bureaucrats, are engaged in corruption and black money?
Is it fair to make such a blanket statement about all politicians and bureaucrats?
How else do you think politicians afford such expenditure during elections? On advertisements and other things? Officers and politicians help each other in breeding corruption. Both gain. Each politician easily spends crores of rupees in elections.
Have you ever used black money in your life or political career?
I am open to any probe. Let the CBI probe all my assets. I have in fact lost whatever I had. Around 9,000 acres of land I once had has been reduced to next to nothing. I have nothing to hide.
But Venkaiah Naidu and many from the Opposition took exception to your speech today. How do you react?
I did not name anyone, so there is nothing to object to. All I said was that corruption exists in all sections of the political class and officialdom. If we are serious about fighting corruption, we must have death penalty as the maximum punishment for the corrupt.
Were you satisfied with Arun Jaitley’s reply on the Aircel-Maxis deal discussion?
Arun Jaitleyji is a lawyer, so he speaks in legal language. But corruption has to be fought not with legal jargon but with sincere will. It is said that the thief will always find a way in, if there is no sincere will to protect the house.