PM says guilty will not be spared; PMO files affidavit (Roundup)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday warned that no one found guilty of wrongdoing will be spared, but refrained from making any direct personal remark on the alleged scam over the allocation of second-generation (2G) telecom spectrum.

Also Saturday the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) filed an affidavit in Supreme Court giving details of the letters it received from former MP Subramanian Swamy seeking sanction to prosecute former telecom minister A. Raja and its response to those letters.

Addressing the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here, his first public remarks on the issue after Raja’s resignation, Manmohan Singh said: “We are ready to discuss all issues in parliament. We are not afraid of discussion.”

He urged all political parties to let parliament function and carry forward the process. Both the houses had to be adjourned for three days following persistent opposition row.

“As far as allocation of 2G spectrum is concerned, parliament is in session. I would not like, therefore, to make any detailed statement,” Singh said during a brief question-answer session after his 20-minute speech.

“But there should not be any doubt in anybody’s mind if any wrong thing has been done by anybody, he or she will be brought to book. For all this to happen, in a democracy, I think, we have to allow parliament to function,” he said.

The PMO filed the 10-page affidavit in response to the Supreme Court’s direction Thursday. The bench comprising Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly had made remarks about the inaction and silence of the most competent authority over the matter.

At the summit, the prime minister said a resurgent and growing India required younger people in power. The country must leverage the advantage of a young population to emerge as the leader in global innovation, he observed.

Singh said his government had declared 2010-2020 as the decade of innovation and it was “putting together a roadmap for innovation.”

He promised an environment that will help India attain a nine percent growth next year, expanding further to double-digit levels in the medium term, but said challenges too needed to be addressed.

“We were among the few countries that recovered quickly from the after-effects of the global economic crisis,” the prime minister told the summit, adding India, although affected, handled the crisis better than others.

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