Saturday, December 27, 2008

Manmohan decries vote-bank politics

New Delhi (PTI): With general elections around the corner, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday decried the "vote bank" politics being indulged in by parties which he alleged were working for sectarian interests.

"I do worry about the centripetal tendencies in our political and social life...far too many of our political leaders prefer to identify themselves first in terms of their sectional and sectarian identity and only then in terms of the national identity," Singh said delivering the Bhimsen Sachar Memorial lecture here.

Appealing political parties to eschew the temptation of focussing on narrow agendas, Singh also asked the people to work together to "devalue the currency of so-called vote bank politics and mint a new currency of the politics of national development and unity".

"The political opportunism and expediency cannot be allowed to go uncurbed," he said adding, "there is no doubt the standards of public life in our country have greatly deteriorated".

"Unless there is a sharp reversal of this trend, the effectiveness of India state's role for societal transformation will be seriously in doubt", the Prime Minister said.