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Straight from the Specialists

Step up, Mr Prime Minister

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(The views expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not represent those of Reuters)

Put aside Lokpal for a moment, how pervasive is the rot in our system that Vilasrao Deshmukh is the person that the Congress sent to negotiate with Anna Hazare. Leave aside whether Team Anna asked for him, is this the man the Prime Minister felt best to represent him and his government on the important issue of corruption?

The Prime Minister says that he isn’t corrupt. That he has given his life for public service. True enough. He has. He has said that a minister in his government is in jail on charges of corruption. Again, true.

But is his government clean now? A year ago, we understand that political compulsions may have been different and the Prime Minister may have had to make tough compromises, but isn’t this the team to clean house. Does the Prime Minister believe that his cabinet is clean now?

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