M A I N   N E W S

Tainted ministers: PM for national consensus
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

Bangkok, July 31
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said today that the RJD and the JMM were powerful constituents of the Congress-led UPA government without whose cooperation the BJP would have come to power.

“If that had happened then it would have been a negation of the people’s mandate as we are in the era of coalition politics,” he observed at a press conference at the conclusion of the BIMSTEC summit here.

“In public life the best should not become the enemy of the good,” Dr Manmohan Singh stressed in response to a question if the issue of tainted ministers had dented his clean image.

He debunked the NDA government’s distinction of political crimes and criminal ones, saying that “this is not correct.”

Asked specifically about Mr Shibu Soren who was directed to resign in the wake of a non-bailable warrant against him pertaining to a three-decade-old case, Dr Manmohan Singh said, “This was the only sensible course of action. I wish I was given an opportunity to address Parliament on this issue.”

In this context, Dr Manmohan Singh said all political parties should evolve a code of conduct and debate what constituted criminal activity and who was a criminal.

“We must evolve a national consensus so that the problem is dealt with effectively once and for all. We require a new consensus to clean our politics,” the Prime Minister added.

About the Chief Election Commissioner’s proposal to check criminalisation of politics, Dr Manmohan Singh disclosed that he had sent the same to the ministries of Home and Law and Justice for their views. 

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