New Delhi: BJP on Thursday joined issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on his statement that an attempt is being made to create an environment of pessimism over corruption, saying it can be ended by banishing corruption, probing graft cases and punishing the guilty.

"Yes, the Prime Minister is right when he says there is an environment of cynicism or negativism. The poison which perpetuates this negativism must be expunged from the system. That alone will create a positive environment," Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.
     
Jaitley issued a written statement to take on Singh over his comments at the CBI conference on Wednesday.

He maintained it would have been better if the Prime Minister had "honestly introspected" as to why this environment has been created in the first place.

Addressing 19th annual conference of CBI and state anti-corruption units here on Thursday, Singh had said "the mindless atmosphere of negativity and pessimism that is sought to be created over the issue of corruption can do us no good."

Jaitley suggested the way to end this and create a positive environment is to "banish corruption, investigate corruption cases honestly and punish the corrupt".

BJP enumerated the scams which have taken place under UPA rule and alleged how appropriate steps were not taken to bring the culprits to book.

"If you put a lid on cases of corruption, the cynicism in negativism will grow. Popular anger has emerged because of a lack of accountability. Probity and accountability alone will eliminate this negativism," Jaitley said.

He referred to the controversy over Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra's business links and alleged the way senior ministers were defending the "indefensible" shows "loyalty is more important than probity" in the ruling party.

"Corruption in governance and public life appears to be overflowing. It has crossed the limits of tolerance. We created several institutions which were perceived to be safeguards against corruption. They are either helpless spectators or have been seriously compromised," Jaitley said.

On the Vadra issue, the BJP leader alleged "windfall gains are monumental and investment is miniscule".

BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that Vadra's case is a reminder of the "Bofors moment" for Congress.

The main opposition claimed there is a legitimate apprehension that institutions, which were intended to be watchdogs on unfair transactions and wrong practices, have been seriously compromised..

"If state shirks its responsibility, unconventional methodologies of exposure will overtake the existing public discourse," Jaitley said, alluding to the "revelations" made by activists Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan.

The "attacks" by the government and its ministers on CAG, JPC and PAC also invited criticism from BJP.

Jaitley also hit out at Congress on the Bofors scam and the probe into it, the cash-for-vote scam, the 2G spectrum scandal and the coal blocks allocation scam.

Meanwhile, Prasad said it "sounded very comical" that Singh had maintained a conspicuous silence on CBI's performance in his speech.

He charged the "most shameful" instances of massive corruption had taken place under Manmohan Singh's Prime Ministership. "There has been a constant institutional subversion under your government. We say this with full responsibility," Prasad said.

(Agencies)

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