Reacts to Justice Krishna Iyer's letter accusing him of being silent on corruption

All-India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi has reacted strongly to the former Supreme Court judge, V.R. Krishna Iyer's letter accusing him of being “silent” on corruption, saying he is working to improve the “rotten system” instead of just complaining and has no intention of being glorified as a hero.

“I work because I believe in working to improve a system that is rotten and not to be glorified,” he said.

“As far as becoming a hero is concerned, unfortunately, that is of absolutely no interest to me,” he added.

Referring to the agitation by Anna Hazare on Lokpal Bill, 95-year-old Justice Krishna Iyer in his April 9 letter said: “You [Rahul Gandhi] will become the hero if you take up the great challenge of transformation of India into an egalitarian society, a Gandhian India, a Nehruvian India, not nuclear India. Why should the Hazare phenomenon occur at all? Only because of so many evils and no actions from Delhi.”

Mr. Gandhi replied that like most right-thinking Indians, he feels exactly the same way “as you do.”

Justice Krishna Iyer had also criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he is “known for inaction.”

Mr. Gandhi did not reply to this.

“Corruption is rampant. If you are sensitive about people, you must attack the big corrupt persons in power. Why are you silent,” Justice Krishna Iyer asked Mr. Gandhi.

Hazare welcomes remark

Mr. Gandhi's remark was welcomed by Mr. Hazare, but an unimpressed BJP said it “sounded hollow.”

Reacting to Mr. Gandhi's letter to Justice Krishna Iyer that he was silently and continuously working to rid the system of corruption, Mr. Hazare said: “I think such youth should come forward and work for the development of the country.”

“I don't believe what he said was in reference to me. If fighting corruption is in his mind, it is a good thing,” he told reporters.

Hollow, says BJP

The BJP said Mr. Gandhi's statement “sounded hollow” as it could not see any action on the ground by the Congress-led government to check corruption. BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “If the Congress general secretary is so serious about corruption, then he should highlight the steps taken in this direction during his party's seven-year rule in the country. We don't see action on the ground against corruption.... The claims sound hollow. If he is taking steps than why has corruption not ended?”

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