Don’t worry about corruption by politicians, Kiran tells civil servants

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Hyderabad: Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy’s remarks on Wednesday that one should not worry too much about political corruption, as the excess money earned by a politician would flow back into the system,  evoked sharp criticism.
Addressing newly-inducted civil servants, the CM went on to add that one should, instead, be careful about corruption by businessmen and officials as money — hinting at bribes — would remain with them.
The CM was reacting to a question by a probationary civil servant on why political parties had put aside their differences and joined hands to take themselves out of the purview of the Right to Information Act.
Maintaining that he did not intend to encourage corruption in politics, Kiran Kumar Reddy reiterated that a politician would end up spending a lot in elections or on other occasions. “Don’t think too much about political corruption. The money will come back into the system,” he told a gathering of newly-inducted civil servants at the MCR HRD institute.
Besides the content, the timing of the CM’s comment – addressing the newly-inducted civil servants – also did not go down well among bureaucrats, politicians and social activists.
“Is he trying to justify corruption by a politician? Corruption is corruption be it by a politician, or a bureaucrat. These are unwarranted comments by a person occupying the post of Chief Minister,” said former bureaucrat D.C. Rosaiah.
Kiran Kumar Reddy’s comments came in the backdrop of the UPA government facing charges of corruption. From the 2G spectrum scam, coal scam to the Commonwealth games, the involvement of political bigwigs, right up to ministers holding respective portfolios like A. Raja and Suresh Kalmadi, has been exposed. In all these cases, investigations have revealed that the violation of rules to benefit individuals or companies took place at the instance of the political bosses.
“The errant bureaucrat draws strength from an errant political executive. Any violation has to take place ultimately with the approval of the political boss in our administrative set up,” said Prof. Haragopal, a rights activist. Corrupt officials are afraid of an honest politician and vice-versa, he added.
No minister was willing to take former bureaucrat S.R. Sankaran in his or her respective departments when he came back from Central deputation during N.T. Rama Rao’s regime. Current panchayat raj minister K. Jana Reddy finally accepted him but within no time had differences with the official who again went back on Central deputation.
The industrial sector was also surprised by the CM’s comments. A former CII representative said if all the three sections – business, bureaucracy and politics – joined in causing loss to the exchequer, then why were politicians alone justified?
Kiran’s justification is unacceptable: K.J. Rao
Ch.V.M. Krishna Rao | DC
Hyderabad: Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy’s comment differentiating the corruption among politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen, has drawn flak from several quarters.
“Kiran Kumar Reddy’s comments that money earned by illegal means by politicians goes back to the electorate, is nothing but a stain on democracy,” said former adviser to the election commission, Dr K.J. Rao.
Dr Rao said that candidates spend huge sums in elections in India to influence the voter and get votes, which is not lawful. When that is the case, it is unbecoming and also unethical on the part of the Chief Minister to talk as if he supports votes being purchased by politicians.
“Corruption is only of one kind. One cannot differentiate it and try to cover up for politicians and blame others,” Rao said.
He said that South Indian states are the worst when it comes to luring voters. “Especially in Andhra Pradesh, it has become a routine affair for candidates to spend crores of rupees to purchase votes and distribute liquor etc. Where is all this money coming from if not from their corrupt deals? We cannot accept the theory that whatever the politician earns he will spend on voters,” Rao fumed.
CPI state secretary K. Narayana was equally critical of the CM’s comments. “How can anyone justify purchase of votes by politicians? It is political bankruptcy, that is  exhibited by the Chief Minister so shamelessly. If one can weed out corruption by politicians it will be easy to root out corruption by bureaucrats and businessmen. Politicians get illegal money by doing favours to industrialists,” Mr Narayana said.
Former minister D.K. Samarasimha Reddy said the Chief Minister is frustrated by recent political developments and is in a confused state of mind.
“I don’t know what the thinking of the Chief Minister is on democracy, the Constitution, judiciary and rule of law. Does he want to abrogate himself? He needs to ponder over whether he wants to run the government in accordance with the Constitution and rule of law or he wants to dance to the tune of corrupt elements in society,” Reddy said.
Such statements will only make the government a laughing stock and law and justice will become non-existent, he added.

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