On corruption, Narendra Modi fails to mention Lalitgate, Vyapam in Independence Day speech

On corruption, Narendra Modi fails to mention Lalitgate, Vyapam in Independence Day speech

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked various scams like 2G and coal in his Independence Day speech, he evaded any mention of Lalitgate and Vyapam, in which a number of senior BJP leaders, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, are implicated.

Despite saying corruption has become a part of the Indian system, “eating it away like a termite”, a determined Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday failed to mention the Lalit Modi and Vyapam controversies in his 90-minute speech to mark India’s 69th Independence Day .

India can be free of corruption but we “have to start from the top”, Modi said from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Battling corruption will “need lots of measures”, he said, assuring, “It can be done. I am talking from experience.”

Modi said there was no allegation of corruption against his government since he took office in May last year. “I am determined to end the termite of corruption… Corruption had become part of the system. Contractors were running the nation. We have taken steps to correct the system,” he said.

“I want to tell the people that the country can become free of corruption. It has to start from the top. Corruption is eating up our country like termites. If you want to get rid of termites, you have to inject medicine,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister also said that the coal block auction had been undertaken by the government to fetch the national exchequer Rs.3 lakh crore. “Some people are worried about the tough law on black money,” he said, adding, “It has ensured that nobody dares to take black money out of the country.”

However, even as he invoked the various scams – 2G and coal – that plagued the 10-year UPA rule preceding Modi, he evaded any mention of Lalitgate and Vyapam , the two NDA scams that resulted in the complete washout of Parliament’s Monsoon Session and in which a number of senior BJP leaders, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj , are implicated.

The opposition Congress has demanded Sushma’s resignation for helping the former Indian Premier League chairman secure travel documents from the British government for his wife’s treatment in Portugal, an allegation that Sushma denied as a quid pro quo with the tainted cricket czar. The Congress has also demanded the resignation of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, whose family has close links with Modi and her Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

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