Mumbai: Congress leader and former finance minister P. Chidambaram has warned that as the Narendra Modi’s government inches closer to the end of its term, it might also be assailed by the same degree of corruption allegations which drowned the UPA-II.
Referring to the second tenure of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA-2, Mr Chidambaram said that it had acquired a reputation for “many many corrupt deeds” at the fag-end of the tenure.
He, however, said the same “odium” could be attached to the NDA government as well when it completed its term (in 2019) though he did not wish it to “happen”. “Since the UPA-II was the last government that completed its tenure, that odium attached to the government. Wait for any government to complete its term of five years, the same odium will attach to that government as well,” he said during a discussion at the Tata Literature Live festival.
“I am not wishing it happens, but it will happen. The point is, yes I know that the UPA-II had acquired, by the time its term came to an end, a reputation for many many corrupt deeds. But unless some one is actually convicted and punished, I am not willing to accept that he or she is guilty,” the former minister said.
Touching upon the issue of corruption, the Congress Rajya Sabha member said the prime reasons for major graft “are greed as against the need for funding elections”.
“In the case of a political person or a political party, it is the need to fund elections, which drives what you describe as corruption. Unless you find the ways to fund elections, you will not be able to bring down that scale of corruption,” he said.
Mr Chidambaram claimed demonetisation was a “dismal” failure as far as curbing fake currency was concerned.