Assuring the enactment of an effective Ombudsman Bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said social activist Anna Hazare's anti-corruption movement has served its purpose, and added that corruption cannot flourish as a way of life in the country.
He said this while interacting with mediapersons on his flight back to India after attending the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) summit in Pretoria, South Africa.
Singh said without criticizing anyone he believes that Hazare has done his best as a social activist.
"I won't like to use this opportunity to criticize any individual, I think Anna Hazare movement has served its purpose. I think we are all working for an effective Lokpal (Ombudsman) Bill to be passed in the Parliament and that will be an assurance to the people that corruption cannot flourish as a way of life in our country," said Singh.
Meanwhile, he also condemned the recent assaults on Hazare's close aides, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal.
Members of certain radical outfits roughed up Prashant Bhushan a few days ago at New Delhi while he was interacting with the reporters of a private television channel outside the apex court premises.
He was pulled from his chair, slapped, dragged and repeatedly punched in the vicious attack.
Two days earlier, a person identified as Jitendra Pathak had hurled a slipper at Kejriwal in Lucknow at which the supporters of India Against Corruption cornered him and handed him over to the police.
Commenting on BJP senior leader L. K. Advani's chariot procession, Singh said Advani should refrain from using insensitive language against other leaders and issues.
"Well it is for the people of India to decide and on the foreign soil I'm not going to criticize any national leader. I wish Mr Advani (senior leader of India's main opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party) a successful Yatra and I would hope he would use language at times which appears to be intemperate, I think in politics its better to avoid harsh words," said Singh.
Advani kicked off his nationwide tour from Sitab Diara village in Bihar on Tuesday (October 11) that will cover 23 states and four Union Territories, which will see him traverse over 7,600 kilometres.
He had organised a similar Yatra (procession) in 1992, to mobilise people towards building a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Rama, in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.
In 2004, he had again undertaken another chariot procession as he reiterated his demand to build the temple.
Against the backdrop of 'weak UPA' remarks by key coalition partner Sharad Pawar, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said the government's "cohesiveness" should not be undermined although he admitted that "differences" are bound to be there in a coalition.
He insisted that the government was functioning with the "coherence" required to carry out its mandate.
"We are in a coalition government. In a coalition government, there are bound to be differences," Singh said when referred to remarks by Agriculture Minister and NCP chief that the UPA-II was "weak" and the attitude of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on various issues.
"The real test is that we should not allow these differences to undermine cohesiveness of the government," the Prime Minister said.
He, however, added, "You have my assurance that despite different perspectives that various members of the coalition may have, managing the Cabinet of the UPA has never been a difficult task.
"Our government functions with coherence which it needs to carry out the mandate given by the people."
When his attention was drawn to comments by some ministers about 'judicial interventions in policy-making', Singh said ministers "sometimes take advantage" of democracy "to express opinions".
"But as a government, we have high respect and high regard for judiciary and it is my sincere belief that the Constitution has laid down the path which the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary should follow. And if all of us follow the Constitutional dharma, I think things would turn out to be all right," he said.
To a question about Law Minister Salman Khurshid's comment that locking up of top business executives would hurt investments, Singh said, "Well, it would not be proper for me to comment on the stray thoughts of what my minister has said."
The Prime Minister noted that "there are legal remedies available in our system. Whenever anybody gets on the wrong side of the law, and he or she is put behind bars, there are legal ways to get redressal".
He pointed out that the country has a functioning democracy in which all the three wings of the establishment- the Executive, the Judiciary, the Legislature - have a well defined role to play.
He did not reply to certain adverse comments reportedly made by Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai about the government, saying he had not seen such a statement.