Bhubaneswar, Jan 15:
After criticism from various quarters for its attempt to rush through a half baked and possibly toothless Lokayukta Act through the ordinance route, the BJD government has decided to bring a Bill in this regard in the state Assembly during its short session, certainly the last before the next general elections, likely in February.
“The Bill is being given finishing touches and will be placed in the Assembly during the short session likely to begin in the first week of February to pass the vote on account,” government chief whip Pravat Tripathy said on Wednesday.
The Bill is currently being vetted by the Law department after which it would be placed in the cabinet for its approval. The process may take up to a fortnight, official sources said.
Though the date for the Assembly session is yet to be finalised, it is likely to begin on February 3 and continue till February 13, reliable sources said.
It may be noted that a day after the Justice MB Shah Commission report severely castigating the state government for its acts of omission and commission in the mammoth mining scam in the state became public on January 3, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took everybody by surprise by announcing that the government would pass a Lokayukta Bill ‘within one month’.
The government is all set to miss the deadline if the Assembly session, as expected, begins on February 3, more so since the opposition is bound to ask for a thorough debate before the Bill is passed.
Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh has already called upon the government to initiate talks with opposition parties in this regard. “Such an important Bill should not be passed without a thorough discussion with other parties on its pros and cons,” he said on Wednesday.