Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 15:
Congress legislature party’s chief whip Prasad Harichandan today rubbished the claim of Odisha government that Odisha was the first state to pass the Lokayukta Bill in line with the Central Lokpal Act and asked the Panchayati Raj minister and chief minister to apologise for misleading the people of Odisha.
Harichandan said BJD government out of its old habit of misleading people ignored the fact that Uttarakhand is the first state in the country to pass the Lokayukta Bill.
“The state government is beating its own drums by passing the Lokayukta bill. While the Congress-ruled Uttarakhand government is the first state which passed the Lokayukta Bill in line with Lokpal Act enacted by Central government, the BJD government is claiming that it is the first government, which is completely false,” said Harichandan.
Stating that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das has misled the Assembly, the Congress leader said that he has moved a breach of privilege motion against Das and chief minister Naveen Patnaik in the Assembly.
It is to be noted that, Uttarakhand Assembly had passed the Lokayukta Bill on January 22 this year.
Talking of the Odisha Bill, Harichandan said unless the Vigilance directorate is made an independent body, since it can play into the hands of the government, thus weakening the efficacy of the institution of Lokayukta.
He also pointed out that while the Bill has provisions that would allow the Lokayukta to take suo motu cognizance of any media report and order an inquiry into any matter, it has not been armed with the power to protect the complainants and witnesses who seek its intervention.