India’s struggling Congress party vows anti-corruption drive | Pakistan Today

India’s struggling Congress party vows anti-corruption drive

NEW DELHI – India’s ruling Congress party on Sunday vowed to fight corruption by fast-tracking court cases, as the government tried to overcome stinging criticism after a string of financial scandals. Party president Sonia Gandhi, the key powerbroker of Indian politics, told the annual Congress leadership conference in New Delhi that the 125-year-old party must show zero tolerance of corruption to survive.
The pledge followed a telecom scandal that deadlocked an entire session of parliament, and the arrests of some organisers of the Delhi Commonwealth Games on charges of swindling millions of dollars before the October event. “There should be no tolerance for corruption and we have demonstrated this through our actions and even when no charges have been made, we have asked our ministers and chief minister to step down pending enquiry,” Gandhi said.
She said that corruption trials “drag on indefinitely and undermine public confidence” so she backed “a new system of fast-tracking all cases that concern corruption by public servants including politicians, including all of us.” Congress, in alliance with other smaller parties, retained power in 2009 elections but is widely seen as struggling to push through its reform agenda despite India’s healthy economic growth.
Telecoms Minister A. Raja, who belongs to a regional party in the Congress alliance, was forced to quit last month after the national auditor said he sold second-generation (2G) mobile phone licences for a fraction of their value in 2008. It estimated a revenue loss of up to 40 billion dollars.
The Congress chief minister of Maharashtra state also resigned last month over a property scandal in Mumbai, and executives from leading state banks have been arrested in a suspected bribes-for-loans racket. Gandhi defended Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who has maintained an image of honesty amid India’s murky political world, against allegations he failed to act over the 2G scandal.
“The party stands solidly behind him,” she said. “He is the embodiment of sobriety, dignity and integrity.” India’s main opposition BJP party, which led the parliamentary deadlock to demand a cross-party probe into the 2G scam, accused Congress of being weighed down by corruption allegations.
“The speech very clearly shows the Congress is a party which is suffering from a mentality of a party under siege,” BJP spokeswoman Nirmala Sitharaman told a news conference. “Attempts have also been made not to answer but very clearly to divert the attention of the people from the failures of the UPA (Congress alliance).”
Transparency International, the anti-corruption watchdog, this year ranked India as the 87th most corrupt nation in a list of 180.



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2 Comments

  1. Ajit said:

    Congress party working against the people in interest of People and Lobby engaged in looting the country. Anti Corruption is peoples moment. Congress has a choice now or never to join ant-corrutpion moment or be framed in Indian History as Looters of India for ever. If any Congress man has any sincerity to fight anti corruption come and lead it with actions. Every one will welcome it. Be it Sonia or PM or rahul or Baba we dont mind who is doing it. We are only interested in result. Mind it

    • Buddhdev said:

      Ajitbhai,

      Try looking at Karnataka-Chief Minister. The Chief was requested to go only after his political existence became unattainable. That was no 'loot'. Try reading about the former Home Minister Mr Amit Shah of Shri Modi and it is an eye opener. Most politicians are corrupt as much as the religious gurus do. the wise one never touches money by them selves. So, let us not point a figure at any one party. If Mr Anna Hazare is willing break a law then what stops others doing the same. Why is group is above the law. Also people like Ramdev Baba if others protect and hide their friends and relatives how we can respect the rule of law? The Civil Society is a group of people and may have a political position but it does not mean that the Government must accept their demands to prove the Congress is fighting the corruption. I would not like anything to be able parliament or its executive. If we give powers to loakpal, the people on it will become dictators, worst corrupt as the same people will move from their jobs in government – judiciary and police straight into Loakpal Service. If you wish to remove corruption, start from your own village -schools, police, hospitals,magistrates and municipalities. there is where the corruption breeds and hurts the system. A generation grows with mid-set that being a religious guru, politician, doctor or civil servant, it is a land of milk an dhoney…

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