Prime Minister said his government had established faith among people in the last 6-7 years that it was possible to fight corruption and get benefits from various government schemes without involvement of middlemen.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Commission to have a “zero tolerance” policy towards corruption and ensure that there were no safe havens for those committing crimes against the country.
Addressing a joint conference of the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) virtually, Modi said that over the past seven years, the work of his government has given people faith that corruption can be stopped. He added: “ People of the country have faith today that they will get benefits of government schemes without any give and take or without any middlemen.”
Comparing this with the record of the previous government he said that lacked the will to control corruption.
“The way the earlier government functioned, it lacked the political and administrative will to fight corruption. Today, there is a political will and administrative reforms are also being carried out to achieve the goal.”
The second term of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government was marked by several high profile corruption scandals and a popular protest against corruption and it is widely believed that its loss in the 2014 elections was partly on account of this.
Modi reminded the officers of CBI and CVC about their responsibility. “You have to remember that your partnership is with this ‘mitti’ (soil), with Maa Bharti (Mother India). “
The conference was themed around a New India that is increasingly using digital tools to push back corrupt practices.
Modi’s comments on safe havens comes at a time when the central government is engaged in legal proceedings to bring back alleged economic offenders like Vijjay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Chowksi, who have taken refuge in foreign countries.
He also called upon the officers of CBI and CVC to rededicate themselves to abolishing corruption from all walks of national life and said that “corruption takes away the rights of people and hinders the pursuit of justice for all”.
21st century India no longer wants corrupt governance, the PM said even as he reminded citizens that the implementation of laws made by the government was their responsibility.
Responding to PM’s barbs on previous governments, Congress spokesperson Pranav Jha said, “This is rich coming from a PM who only believes in opacity and obscurity. I wonder, if he really remembers that we don’t have a Central Vigilance Commissioner at the moment. The one officiating is merely an acting one. Look at how elections are being funded in the country, didn’t EC object to electoral bonds? Yet it continues. And one doesn’t want to remind the status of funds collected through PM Cares! In Corruption perception index India has slipped 6 places down in just 1 year in Jan, 2021… So these are hollow words, meaning nothing.”
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