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PM soft on Kejriwal's AAP, says give it time

india Updated: Jan 04, 2014 10:32 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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Taking a rather accommodative view of the Aam Aadmi Party which rode to power in Delhi on an anti-corruption plank, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday said the Arvind Kejriwal-led government should be given a fair chance to prove themselves.

“People of India have reposed confidence in the AAP in Delhi. I think we must respect the democratic process,” Singh said at his press conference, a day after the Kejriwal government won the trust vote in Delhi assembly.

The PM’s indulgent remarks on the AAP drew sarcastic comments from BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who recalled the “more loyal than the king” remarks of Congress leaders in the Delhi assembly on Thursday.

“And now, the prime minister’s kindness towards them (AAP) makes one wonder what is really going on,” he said in a veiled reference to the BJP’s oft-repeated charge that the AAP was the B-team of the Congress.

The Congress has extended outside support to the AAP government.

On his part, Singh conceded the new party had been able to make a success of its fight to eradicate corruption. The PM, however, but added a dash of scepticism.

“Only time will tell whether this experiment is capable of dealing with the challenges that our economy and polity faces,” Singh said, calling corruption a “monster” that could not be dealt with by a single party.

Read: How does it matter who becomes the prime minister, says Kejriwal

“It is too early; I think less than a week. They must be given time and chance to justify themselves,” the PM said when asked about Kejriwal’s success and his decision to audit the power distribution companies by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).

The PM, whose government has often been under attack from the AAP as well as the BJP for not doing enough to check corruption, said dealing with corruption was not an easy process even though there may be opportunities as well as challenges.

“We must collectively grapple with the task of dealing with corruption. This is not a matter which only one party can accomplish. Various political parties have to work together to deal with this monster.”

Singh also batted for the institutional mechanism to deal with corruption and poverty.

“All of us, who wish to build a better India, (get) rid of poverty and corruption must respect these institutions and work through them. They are the legitimate instruments in our hands. No one individual or authority can substitute for the due processes of democratic governance.”