PM: Any wrongdoers in 2G allocation will be punished

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today promised action against anybody for any "wrong thing" done in the 2G spectrum allocation. Mr Singh also appealed to all political parties to allow parliament to function, and said that the government would discuss all the issues.

"There should be no doubt in anybody's mind that if any wrong thing has been done by anybody, he or she will be brought to book," the prime minister said in his first comments on the 2G issue that has paralysed parliament since the winter session began a fortnight ago. Dr Singh was replying to questions after a 23-minute speech on "Winning the next decade", at the HT Leadership Summit in the national capital, PTI reports.

The prime minister said that various aspects of the 2G spectrum allocation are being looked into by respective investigating agencies "in the domain of their interest". Then he added, "But for all these to happen, in a democracy we have to allow parliament to function... We are ready to discuss all issues. We are not afraid of discussions."

"I appeal to all political parties to let parliament to do its work. We need parliament to function more regularly to pass legislations, laws and supplementary demands for grants for various departments," Dr Singh said. "It is my humble request to all political parties to allow parliament to function. We can discuss everything."

While appealing to political parties to co-operate, the prime minister said that in a democracy there was need for "reasoned debate" to raise "nationally-acceptable" approaches. He desisted from going into details on the 2G issue, saying that parliament is in session. He did not comment on a rare demand by the Supreme Court to explain why he had failed to probe what could potentially emerge as the country's biggest corruption scam.

On the theme "Winning the next decade", Dr Singh mentioned the story about the hare and the tortoise, saying that one could choose to describe India as a hare, tortoise, or elephant, or whatever, But "the simple truth is that India is a nation of over a billion people eager to realise their destiny". The prime minister said that there is "no magic formula" or "magic wand", but the government has a lot to do to make this happen, and what it does must be innovative and must spur innovation.

The prime minister said the country must also address new challenges like the threat to the environment arising from inadequate regulation. "We need new thinking to prevent the degradation of land and water resources which endanger the livelihood of millions of our people living on the edges of subsistence," Dr Singh said.

He said that it is on the foundation of a better educated, more healthy and more skilled people that India must build its edifice of a more entrepreneurial society and leverage capacity for innovation. "The greatest battles of our times are not ones in which humans will win over humans, or a nation over a nation. The greatest tests of our times are ones in which humanity as a whole will have to fight and win together-these will be our collective fight against hunger, poverty, terrorism, disease, tyranny, corruption, bigotry and extremism," the prime minister said.
 

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