Breaking his silence on allegations of corruption levelled at him by Team Anna,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today threatened to resign and give up public life if there was “any iota of truth” in these charges.
In his strongest attack till date on Team Anna,Singh said “the public in India should make up its mind whether this sort of politics should rule the roost in the country.”
“My career as Finance Minister,Leader of Opposition and Prime Minister has been an open book. I will give up my public career if there is any iota of truth in such allegations,” Singh told reporters on his way home from Yangon at the end of a three-day visit to Myanmar.
“The country can give me any punishment. But to use such harsh words and such language which are being used without rhyme or reason,the public must decide what wrong has the Prime Minister done. If anyone levels such allegations,then prove it,” Singh said.
Visibly agitated,the Prime Minister took on Team Anna at the end of a press conference on board his aircraft,staying back to respond a second time on Team Anna’s allegations. He said he hadn’t said much the first time the question was asked but now wanted to clear the air.
Earlier,he slammed “uninformed allegations and discussions based on leaks” of a draft CAG report on the issue of allocation of coal blocks.
Singh had come prepared,carrying a written note to respond to any query on the matter.
“The Coal Minister has given factual details in response to these allegations and the Coal Ministry has put up all the information on its website,” he said.
“We have not yet received the CAG report. When we do,the Government will submit its detailed factual response before the Public Accounts Committee as per Constitutional procedure.”
“Uninformed allegations and discussions based on leaked drafts are unfortunate. It is unfortunate that irresponsible allegations are being made without confirming facts,” Singh said.
BOX: Golden silence on Army Chief
* On Army Chief’s allegations against the Defence Ministry: “Sometimes silence is golden.”
* On speculation of him being made President: “I am quite happy where I am.”