In her first statement on the Lokpal Bill controversy, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee stood firmly by the Centre on Tuesday and trained her guns on Anna Hazare.
Pointing out that the Prime Minister himself is honest, she said constructive proposals are needed instead of a hue and cry on a single point. So far, the Trinamool Congress, the largest ally of the Congress at the Centre, had remained silent on the issue. The party had also refrained from taking part in the ongoing debate in the Parliament.
But on Tuesday, at a media conference in the state legislative assembly, Banerjee said: “They (Team Anna) are only stressing on one point, putting the prime minister and the chief justice in the ambit of the Lokpal. Why is there such a hue and cry? Let the bill be placed in Parliament first.”
What is needed is a comprehensive package to weed out corruption, she said, which includes judicial, administrative and electoral reforms, the recovery of black money and stopping the misuse of government funds.
“There should not be a one-point agenda,” Banerjee reiterated. “Why are they silent on the recovery of black money from foreign banks?”
Underlining the need to improve the system, she said: “As an individual, Manmohan Singh is not corrupt. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, IK Gujral, HD Deve Gowda and Rajiv Gandhi were honest too.”