Prime Minister Narendra Modi insisted Saturday that he would eradicate corruption in India but warned the problem started at the top and was eating away at the country “like a termite”.
“Corruption is like a termite, it spreads slowly, reaches everywhere but it can be beaten with timely injections.”
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.
Modi said that there had been no allegations of money being siphoned off under his government but acknowledged there was still work to be done.
“Corruption has to be removed fully from the system,” said the prime minister in a speech from the ramparts of Delhi’s Red Fort.
“I don’t just make speeches but we have worked on it. In the last 15 months of my government, there have not been any allegations of embezzling even a single rupee.
“With your support, I pledge a corruption-free India.”