NEW DELHI: The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh today rejected the charges of Team Anna that the government had "swindled unbelievable amounts" of money and hit out at yoga guru Ramdev for claiming that "astronomical" sums of black money can be brought back from other countries in one stroke.
Addressing the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting here, he said "canards and falsehood" were being spread by "disparate" and "desparate" elements and asked the party cadres to effectively tackle the "misinformation".
In an apparent reference to yoga guru Ramdev and Team Anna, Dr Singh said, "Every day one hears of astronomical sums of black money that can be brought back in one stroke. It is alleged that in every area of its activity, our government has swindled unbelievable amounts of money. Nothing can be farther from the truth."
The assertive statement by the Prime Minister came a day after Ramdev and Anna Hazare held a day-long protest here, with the yoga guru attacking the government over black money.
The Team Anna has been alleging that thousands of crores had been misappropriated by various departments and ministers.
"The truth is that our government is fully committed to tackle the menace of corruption in public life and bring about transparency and accountability in the work of government authorities. And we have proved this by taking action on multiple fronts," Singh said.
"The legislative and administrative action we have taken in this area speaks for itself," he added.
The Prime Minister said, "the misinformation being spread by disparate, desperate elements, unified only by their opposition to our government, needs to be tackled effectively."
Singh underlined the need for the leaders and workers of Congress party to "educate the public about the canards and falsehood spread by those who are opposed to us".
He maintained that the Congress is a party whose policies, programmes and promises are focussed on the "well-being" of the common man.
"It is only the Congress party that can take the country forward on a path of progress in which each and every citizen shares the fruits of development. It is only the Congress party which can carry with it all sections of our society," the Prime Minister said.
"We have an onerous responsibility on our shoulders and we must not fail this responsibility," he said, adding "I have no doubt that we will emerge stronger from these testing times."
Dr Singh said the UPA government had made every effort to fulfill the promises made to the 'aam aadmi' (common man) by delivering high growth rate, implementing programmes for social and economic inclusion on "a scale never seen before" and taking "unprecedented" steps to empower the citizens.
Listing out various achievements of the government, he said poverty is declining faster than it did before UPA took charge, real wages are increasing, agricultural growth has accelerated and economic security has been ensured.
He also cited developments in other fields like internal security, defence, telecom, education, social and health sectors.
At the same time, he acknowledged that naxal-affected districts "remain a problem area".