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Corruption Devouring India “Like a Termite”
International

Corruption Devouring India “Like a Termite”

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned on Saturday that corruption was eating away at India “like a termite” as he used an Independence Day speech to pledge his commitment to eradicating graft and poverty.

In an address from Delhi’s Red Fort, Modi sought to silence growing doubts about his leadership after key reforms stalled in a rancorous parliament session dogged by allegations of corruption involving some of his top lieutenants, AFP reported.

“I want to reaffirm that this nation will get rid of corruption. We can rid the country of corruption; we have to start from the top … Corruption is like a termite, it spreads slowly, reaches everywhere but it can be beaten with timely injections.”

Modi also warned against the “poison” of communalism in a wide-ranging speech that lasted for more than an hour.

Modi’s speech comes after some of the most senior figures in his Bharatiya Janata Party became embroiled in corruption scandals, including Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and the chief ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh states.

The scandals have been particularly embarrassing as Modi’s election win last year was built in part on a pledge to clean up government after a series of scams under the previous Congress administration.

Modi said there had been no cases of money being siphoned off on his watch and that a new law on declaring income had led to the disclosure of around $1 billion in hitherto hidden assets which will now be liable to tax.

The premier also set a 1,000-day deadline for every village in India to get electricity, urging state governments which are responsible for power to ensure every community is finally linked to the national grid.

 

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