Yesterday, Team Anna criticised the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for rejecting its accusations against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the allocation of coal blocks, and said it was behaving as if “there was no corruption in the country”.
“The content of that letter is trying to prove that there is no corruption in the country and all the ministers and officers are working honestly, and we are unnecessarily creating a ruckus over the issue of corruption,” Manish Sisodia, Team Anna member, said.
Slamming the government, he said that on one hand, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is investigating the case and, on the other hand, the government has already declared that there was no irregularity in the allocations and all the rules were followed. “So, in a way, the government already knows what the outcome of the CBI investigation will be and it has made it public,” he added.
Fellow activist and Team Anna member Kiran Bedi tweeted: “PMO’s Prise (sic) to Annajee on allegations made on PM+14 Ministers is absolutely wishywashy! On Camera admission by Fr (former) Coal Sect (Secretary) supports CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General).”
The PMO refused to accept Team Anna’s demand for an independent probe, saying the manner in which “loose” allegations have been levelled was not acceptable. Minister of State in the PMO, V Narayanasamy, wrote a letter to Anna Hazare on Friday saying that the allegations against the Prime Minister were based on a leaked draft of the CAG report and reports in the media.
The letter, which was released yesterday, was in response to Team Anna’s letter of May 26 in which it charged Manmohan Singh and 14 cabinet ministers of “massive corruption” and asked for an independent probe. Manmohan Singh was in charge of the coal portfolio from November 2006 to May 2009. Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Minister Ambika Soni, too, slammed Team Anna for making allegations without supporting evidence.
“You make a charge against a person no less than the Prime Minister, don’t substantiate your charge with any kind of supportive evidence, and then expect things to start moving just because you make a charge,” she said.