India cracks down on corruption

Manmohan Singh, India’s prime
minister, has announced a crackdown on the corruption which his engulfed his
government and vowed to not step down amid growing criticism of his leadership.

His Congress-led United Progressive
Alliance government has been paralysed by opposition demands for a Joint Parliament
Committee inquiry into allegations of corruption since November last year.

Three major scandals, including
alleged corruption in the award of mobile phone operator licences and kickbacks
in Commonwealth Games contracts, and the sale of subsidised apartments in
Mumbai to senior Congress figures and army chiefs, have led to a series of resignations.

Dr Singh has been criticised for
failing to take decisive action in these cases and for failing to oppose the
appointment of an anti-corruption watchdog that is facing corruption charges.

The prime minister is admired for
his personal honesty but criticised for weakness in tackling corruption, which
is perceived to be widespread within his government.

In a televised forum with Indian
television editors Dr Singh pledged to root out corruption and said all
involved would be investigated regardless of their position.

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