Monday, 20 December 2010

No tolerance for corruption, says Sonia

NEW DELHI: Declaring that there should be no tolerance for corruption or misconduct, Congress president Sonia Gandhi today asked the party and the government to take on the menace “head-on” even as she hit out at the BJP for its “personal” attack on the Prime Minister on 2G spectrum issue.

There should be “no tolerance for corruption or misconduct,” Gandhi, who had left out the corruption issue at the AICC meeting last month despite the party being confronted by a rash of scams allegedly involving some of its leaders and those of allies, said at the Congress plenary here.

“Both as a party and the government, we must confront the government head on,” she said.
Gandhi, who is also UPA chairperson, said, “Simplicity, restraint and austerity must be our chosen way. We cannot make this a law…. Let us atleast have the moral sensibility to avoid vulgar displays of wealth and waste.”

Gandhi termed as “downright despicable” the opposition BJP”s attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“He is the embodiment of sobriety, dignity and integrity. The BJP’s personal attack on him is downright despicable,” she said.

Complimenting Singh “for his wise leadership, for remaining calm amidst the storm and for his unwavering devotion to progress and prosperity of the nation”, Gandhi said the party “stands solidly with him”.

She recalled that even when no charge had been established, the party had asked the ministers and chief ministers to step down pending enquiry into corruption allegations.

“How many other parties can make such a claim? Can the BJP do so in regard to Karnataka where corruption is rampant or other states,” Gandhi asked.

Taking the principal opposition to task for paralysing Parliament on 2G spectrum issue, she said, “Can anything possibly justify bringing Parliament to a halt? Can the Opposition justify undermining the norms on which parliamentary democracy functions.”

She said Parliament cannot be held hostage to political expediency as it was the forum to discuss and resolve contentious issues.

Turning to communalism, the Congress President said her party always fought against all forms of communalism, regardless of their source.

“We cannot ignore the pernicious impact of individuals, institutions and ideologies that distort our history, that thrive on spreading religious prejudice and that incite people to violence using religion as a cover.”

Gandhi said that Congress made no distinction between organisations of the majority and of the minority communities which indulge in communalism and related acts of terrorism.

“They are all dangerous. They must all be defeated,” she said.

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