Non-BJP Opposition parties, unimpressed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s interaction with the media on Friday, called his defence on charges of corruption during his regime “weak”.

The CPI (M) accused Dr. Singh of “shielding” some of those found guilty of corruption and contested his claim that most of the graft charges pertained to UPA-1.

“Most of the corruption scams have emerged in the UPA-II regime and that is something they have to own up to,” senior CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.

Mr. Yechury said that the government should act against those found guilty in the scams “instead of shielding some of them as it is happening in the Adarsh case.”

JD (U) president Sharad Yadav said Dr. Singh’s replies were not convincing.

“His statements do not convince us. What he claims doesn’t matter because the people do not accept this. During the nine- and-a-half-year tenure of Dr. Singh, the country has moved backwards. Today’s politics will also take the country backwards.”

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rout criticised the Prime Minister for his attack on the Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. “During your (UPA’s) tenure, just some time ago, what happened in Muzaffarnagar? What happened in different parts of Delhi after the killing of Indira Gandhi?” he asked.

Shiromani Akali Dal Naresh Gujral questioned the Prime Minister’s optimism about passing the baton to the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, and said the party should consider itself lucky if it goes on to win even 100 seats.

“There is no way this country will elect a Congress PM for a third time. We all know how the Congress is sinking. We have seen what happened in Delhi (Assembly polls),” he said.

More In: National | News