New Delhi: Taking exception to personal attack on him, a 'hurt' Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said he may have "made mistakes" but he firmly repudiated charges of conniving with corruption and asked the Opposition to verify his assets.

Taking a dig at BJP in the Lok Sabha, particularly Murli Manohar Joshi, he said during his seven years as Prime Minister opposition members have accused him of "many crimes" but he had "never used harsh language in describing the conduct of any member" of the House.

Referring to Joshi's remarks during the debate on corruption on Wedsnesday, he said the BJP leader had made a "powerful speech" and made a "personal attack on me as if I am the fountainhead of corruption and that I have knowingly connived with corruption of some of my colleagues."

Singh cited his contribution to the country first as Finance Minister in 1990s and now as Prime Minister and said, "I did make a small contribution in my own way to enhance the prestige of the country and, therefore, when charges are leveled against me, it hurts. But I am not going to convert this forum into a forum of accusation one way or the other."

He added, "All I can say is that if any wrong has been done by me, I invite the Leader of the Opposition to look at my property which I may have accumulated in the last 41 years. I would accept the verdict of the Leader of the Opposition if they find that I have used public office to amass wealth for myself or for any member of my family."

Singh said that in the course of seven years as Prime Minister, he may have made mistakes. "Who is above making mistakes? To err is human but to accuse me of evil intentions, of conniving with corruption is a charge I firmly repudiated," he said.

Adopt more rational approach: PM to Hazare


Asking Anna Hazare to adopt a "more rational approach" with regard to his demand for a strong Lokpal, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday made it clear that the Parliamentary democracy cannot be undermined.

Responding to a letter from former Chief Justice J S Verma, Singh asserted that it is only after "due deliberation" that a law can be passed that not only meets the aspirations of the people but is also "practical and effective".

Virtually rejecting the August 30 deadline set by Hazare for passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill, he said, "It is the bounden duty of the Parliament to pass a law only after its members have had reasonable time and opportunity to hear a wide range of public opinions and apply their minds to its various provisions."

The Prime Minister asked Verma to use his good offices to urge Hazare and his supporters "to adopt a more rational approach in dealing with this complex problem".

Singh's letter came after talks between the government and Team Anna ended in a deadlock on Wednesday night with two sides failing to resolve sticky issues, prompting the civil society to declare that they were "back to square one".

Noting that Verma's letter mentions that the rule of law is the bedrock of democracy, the Prime Minister said "I cannot agree more except to say that our great Constitution has served this country very well through difficult times and we should do nothing that in any way undermines the parliamentary democracy of which the country is so proud."

The Prime Minister also agreed that Hazare has rendered a great public service by mobilizing public opinion against corruption.

Singh in his letter to Hazare on August 23 had reiterated Government's intention to pass the best possible Lokpal legislation with inputs from civil society and on the basis of the broadest possible consensus.

Protesters detained near PM residence

Several people were on Thursday detained near the high security area of Prime Minister's residence as they gathered to hold an agitation demanding a strong Lokpal in line with Team Hazare's call.

The protesters, who came in small groups, were stopped by police near the Prime Minister's 7, Race Course Road residence and were taken into custody.

The protesters were bundled into DTC buses and were taken out from the high security area, police sources said.

They had gathered to hold a protest at 5 PM demanding a strong Lokpal following a call by Team Anna Hazare to hold an agitation there.

4 Metro stations near PM residence closed

Four metro stations near the Prime Minister's official residence in the capital were closed on Thursday as a precautionary measure following a call by Team Anna Hazare to people to hold a protest there.

The four stations -- Udyog Bhawan, Race Course, Jor Bagh on Gurgaon Line and Khan Market on Badarpur corridor were closed at 3:00 PM.

"The metro stations were closed following orders from Delhi Police. The stations will be closed till further orders," a DMRC spokesman said.

All the four Metro stations, which were shut down, are close to 7, Race Course Road, the official residence of the Prime Minister.

The move to close the stations follows Team Hazare's call to people asking them to hold peaceful protests outside the Prime Minister's residence at 5 PM demanding a strong Lokpal.

The decision was taken following apprehensions that the protesters from Ramlila Maidan could reach 7, RCR by Metro.

Around 80 people were detained on Sunday when they tried to hold a protest near the Prime Minister's residence on the same issue.

JPN/Agencies