How a P.M. is not aware of what his cabinet Ministers are doing?
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on 16-2-2011 Wednesday held a rare televised interaction with the electronic media to defend him against charges of inaction. He blamed coalition politics for “some compromises”, but vowed to punish wrong-doers.
Singh said he had nothing to do with the controversial issue of spectrum pricing as the issue was settled between the finance ministry and the Department of Telecom. On the S-Band scam, for which his office has been blamed, Singh pointed the finger at the Department of Space. This was the first time the PM has had to answer questions on his office’s role in corruption.
His larger lament was about compromises necessitated by coalition politics. “You have to put up with a lot if you are running a coalition. Otherwise, you will have to hold elections every six months, which will not be a very happy situation either,” Singh said when asked whether he owed moral responsibility for the scams on his watch.
In response to a question whether he considered moral responsibility for corruption his government has been accused of, the PM said he was aware of his responsibility. He also termed the irregularities during his tenure as his biggest regret. He, however, maintained that he was not as such a culprit as has been made out because he was not a free agent and had to make compromises to run the coalition.
PM said he was ready to face any committee, including a JPC. He said, ‘this is entirely a wrong impression that I was the one who was blocking the agreement about the JPC
PM mentioned the word ‘coalition’ as many as 16 times to claim that compromises were unavoidable in coalition govts. He said this to explain away charges of ethical and governance deficit
He denied that he had any plans of quitting. He said things were ‘not entirely what I would like them to be’, but he had a job to do and would ‘stay the course’
Singh said he made Raja telecom minister a second time, even though he had heard some complaints about him, because Raja was DMK’s choice and at that moment he didn’t have reason to believe ‘serious wrong had been done’
Since Prime Minister is head of the cabinet, he cannot simply say that he will not monitor the portfolios of other coalition party ministers.