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Govt delaying Lokayukta to save its skin: Congress

Putting the Uttarakhand government in the dock over the issue of Lokayukta, opposition Congress on Thursday accused it of shying away from creating the anti-corruption body to save its own skin.

Raising the issue vehemently through an adjournment motion in the Uttarakhand Assembly, Congress MLAs led by Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh asked the state government to announce a timeframe for constituting the Lokayukta, a legislation tabled in the House over a year ago.

The opposition legislators even left their seats and shouted slogans in front of the Speaker’s chair when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant did not give a timeframe for setting up the anti-corruption body.

He said the business advisory committee of the Assembly alone could do something about the matter as legislation on the Lokayukta was a property of the House.

Hridayesh said the state government was not serious about the Lokayukta as it was steeped in graft and could not stand a scrutiny by the anti-corruption constitutional authority.

Alleging that corruption cases continued to come to the surface but were not being properly investigated in the absence of a strong anti-corruption body, Hridayesh said it was being deliberately delayed by the state government.

“A government which keeps flaunting its policy of zero tolerance to corruption also says a Lokayukta is not needed. How can the government decide whether a Lokayukta is needed or not. Let the victims of corruption decide it,” she said.

Referring to a private news channel head being sent to jail for attempting a sting on political and bureaucratic bigwigs, she said it was done under “pressure”.

“Why would a man be arrested for attempting a sting if there was no corruption in the state?” she asked.

Reminding the state government that the select committee to which the Lokayukta bill was referred cleared it more than a year ago, the Leader of Opposition said if the state government is really serious on the issue, it will constitute the body within a month.



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