I will quit public life if graft charges proved: PM

Onboard PM`s Special Aircraft: Rejecting Team Anna`s allegations of corruption against him, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today declared he will quit public life if the charges on coal block allotments are proved.

"It is unfortunate that irresponsible allegations relating to irregularities in allocation of coal blocks are being made without confirming facts. I will give up my public life if allegations are proved against me. My long public career as Finance Minister, as Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and now as Prime Minister has been an open book," Singh told reporters on his way back from Myanmar.

"If there is any iota of truth, I will give up my public life. At the same time, the public should make up its mind whether this kind of politics will rule the roost in India," Singh said. This is Prime Minister`s first reaction to Team Anna members Prashant and Shanti Bhushan`s allegations last week accusing him of corruption for the first time when they referred to a draft CAG report on allocation blocks when he held charge of Coal ministry. He also termed as "unfortunate and irresponsible" the corruption allegations levelled against him and 14 of his ministerial colleagues by Team Anna.

The Prime Minister read out a brief statement to the media accompanying him on board his special aircraft before taking questions. The statement said there have been reports about the allocation of coal blocks based on leaked portions of the draft CAG report on the issue. "We have also received a letter on the same subject. The Coal Minister has given factual details in response to these allegations and the Coal Ministry has put up all the information on its website," he said.

Singh said Government has not yet received the CAG report. "When we do, the Government will submit its detailed factual response before the Public Accounts Committee as per constitutional procedure," he said. "Uninformed allegations and discussions based on the leaked draft are unfortunate," he said.