Rise of graft a serious problem: PM

New Delhi, December 31: At a time when the opposition is targeting the government on the Lokpal fiasco, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said that his government is committed for a strong Lokpal Bill.

“Lokpal and Lokayuktas are important to fight corruption. The government is committed to enact an effective Lokpal act”, the Prime Minister said in his “musings message” to the nation on the eve of new year.

“The rise of graft is a serious issue for the country. It needs a multi dimensional response”, Singh observed.

The Prime Minister in his new year message said that it was unfortunate that the Lokpal Bill could not be passed.

Earlier in the day, BJP leader LK Advani hit out at Prime Minister for the Lokpal fiasco in Rajya Sabha, alleging that he had chosen “conspiratorial silence and acquiescence” while the government ran away from a vote on the Bill.

In a statement issued today, Advani said, “For the UPA government, 2011 was annus horribilis (horrible year). The Congress-led government found itself in the quagmire of one corruption scandal after another, each of which robbed it of its legitimacy to rule.”

The BJP veteran insisted that the credibility of the government and its leadership “nosedived in direct proportion to the scale of the scandals” and the Prime Minister as well as Congress President Sonia Gandhi were engaged in “desperate acts of scapegoating” trying to ensure that bigger heads did not roll.