Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday paid fulsome tribute to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, calling him the embodiment of “our people’s disgust and concern about tackling corruption” while defending his own record by inviting the opposition to scrutinize properties he or his family members had acquired in his 40-odd years in public life. The PM said he was “hurt” by charges levelled against him. “In the course of seven years as prime minister, I may have made mistakes. Who is above making mistakes? To err is human but to accuse me of evil intentions, of conniving at corruption is a charge I firmly repudiate,” he said. Making an intervention in Lok Sabha , Singh did not come across as a leader who sticks to prepared texts, as he spoke with passion and a certain sincerity of purpose, admitting, “There is anger in the country. There is anger about the misuse of public offices.” Acknowledging the challenge corruption posed to his government, the PM accorded top priority to combating graft in the remainder of his term. He mounted a spirited defence, countering BJP leader M M Joshi’s allegations that he was unable to check graft. “He made a powerful speech and he turned into a personal attack on me as if I am the fountainhead of corruption and that I have knowingly connived at corruptions of some of my colleagues,” said the PM who added he was more than willing to accept the verdict of a probe by the leader of opposition.