May 30, 2012, 11.23 AM IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday hit out at Team Anna saying the corruption allegations against him other ministers were irresponsible and unfortunate. The Prime Minister further said that he would give up his public life if the allegations made by Team Anna were proved.
Talking to reporters on his way back from Myanmar, the Prime Minister said, "I will give up my public life if allegations are proved against me."
"It is unfortunate that irresponsible allegations relating to irregularities in allocation of coal blocks are being made without confirming facts," said Singh.
This came hours after senior Team Anna member, Justice Santosh Hegde, distanced himself from the allegations against the Prime Minister.
Speaking to CNN-IBN, Justice Hegde said that the comment against the Prime Minister was unwarranted.
The former Karnataka Lokayukta also said that that he was unaware about the proof Team Anna had.
On Monday, the Prime Minister's Office had issued a clarification on allegations levelled by Team Anna with regard to the alleged corruption in allocation of coal blocks between 2006 and 2009.
Reacting to the allegations, the PMO clarified its stand saying the coal blocks were privatised to meet the growing demand that Coal India failed to meet.
In a press release dated May 27, 2011, the PMO said that the delay occurred in changing the allocation process of coal blocks because of consensus-building.
Meanwhile, after Anna Hazare described Manmohan Singh as an honest man, his team, which had put the Prime Minister on a list of "corrupt ministers", said the activist was not aware of the "whole matter" regarding the PM and they will apprise him about it.
Senior Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said most of the documents are in English and Anna cannot read the language. "So the large number of documents have to be translated into Hindi to enable him to go through it. It is not possible to translate all these documents that fast so that he could read it. He knew the larger points like which minister has what charges against him and all.
"But on the Prime Minister, he did not know the whole matter. But he has full faith in us that we are doing the right thing, that the panel has vetted it," Bhushan told reporters.
His response came to a question on Anna describing Singh as an honest man after his team had on Saturday clubbed him with 14 Union Ministers levelling corruption allegations against them.
Anna had said he has not seen the papers regarding Singh and that he would seek clarification from his team when he comes to Delhi in first week of June.
Another activist Arvind Kejriwal said Anna knows about "all the issues" and if he wants to see the documents regarding Singh, they will show it to him when he comes to Delhi.
"When he came to Delhi for the March 25 protest, he was briefed about the charges against each and every minister. We wrote letters to ministers regarding the allegations after the instruction from Anna," Kejriwal said.
He said they had raised charges on coal scam and had named Sriprakash Jaiswal but later they came to know that he was not in charge of the Ministry.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)
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