Arun Jaitley lashes out against Prime Minister

via Report Courtesy: UNI published on August 19, 2011

In a sharp attack on the Government for the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare and some of his supporters ahead of their proposed indefinite fast on the Lokpal issue yesterday, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley today said the protests across the country showed that the people were exasperated with corruption and the failure of the political establishment to tackle the menace.

Initiating the discussion on the statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the arrest of Mr Hazare, Mr Jaitley pointed out that thousands of people around the country had courted arrest in protest against the Delhi Police action.

“All of us have participated in protests over the years. However, some of the images we have seen over the past few days go far beyond what we have seen in the past. It only shows that India today is exasperated with corruption and with the political leadership which has failed to tackle corruption,” he said.

“It is a wake-up call for all of us that unless we put our house in order, people of the country are getting restless with corruption. It is time for the Prime Minister and the policial leadership to stand up and take a bold decision. He must contemplate why there is a loss of confidence in his Government,” he said.

“In the face of scams, all we have been confronted with is routine phrases. Further, whatever action has been taken by the Government, it was coerced into doing so by courts and the Opposition in Parliament. The Government needs to answer whether it has the political will to fight corruption,” he said.

In a reference to Prime Minister’s statement in his Independence day address that there was no magic wand to tackle corruption, Mr Jaitley said, “You don’t need magic to tackle corruption. All you need is a political will.”

Lashing out at the arrest of Mr Hazare and other members of civil society, Mr Jaitley said, “The Government has unleashed a new political idiom against those opposing the Government policies. You use police power to tackle your opponents. Arrogance of power has become the character of the Government.”

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