Breaking his silence on many issues haunting the government, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh met with a small group of editors of print publications in a rare interaction that lasted for nearly 2 hours.
When asked his opinion on the demand that the Prime Minister should be brought under the purview of the Lokpal, the Prime Minister said that, “We have discussed this matter in the Cabinet last year. I for one, have no hesitation in bringing myself under the purview. But there are Cabinet colleagues of mine, who said ‘Sir, this is not your personal concern. We are legislating for the people of India’. There are many members of the Cabinet feel strongly, that bringing the institution of the Prime Minister (under Lokpal), will create an element of instability, which at times, can go out of hand. I hope that sound sense will prevail, and we would still work to find a way out.”
The Prime Minister went on to add that “Every day, the Prime Minister is a 24-hour servant of the people of India. So we have mechanisms, much more effective mechanisms, in place. I am not saying categorically, one way or the other. I would like the guidance of political parties.”
The Prime Minister’s approach to the questions and the interview is a lesson for politicians across the country whose attitude is less of “sevaks (servants)” and more of “malik (owners)”.