NC, Cong, BJP Favour Constitution Of State Lokayukta In J&K

NC, Cong, BJP Favour Constitution Of State Lokayukta In J&K

18 December 2013
The Daily Excelsior
Neeraj Rohmetra

Jammu: Even as the Parliament today passed the landmark anti-corruption Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, the coalition partners - Congress and National Conference (NC) in the State have favoured constitution of a State Lokayukta as has been done in several other states of the country. The Lokpal Bill has given mandate to the all States for the country for setting up the institution of Lokayukta through enactment of a law by the State Legislature, within a period of 365 days from the date of commencement of the Act. While terming the passage of Lokpal Bill as historic, Members of Parliament (MPs) representing Congress and NC favoured the formulation of a similar institution in the State. However, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) claimed to have already constituted State Accountability Commission (SAC), which is similar to Jan Lokpal way back in the year 2003. State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has supported the Bill in Parliament, has also favoured the constitution of State Lokayukta. National Conference Chief and Union Minister, Farooq Abdullah told EXCELSIOR from New Delhi, “the passage of Lokpal was a historic decision and party MP’s had today voted in favour of this Legislation. The credit for constitution of Lokpal Ombudsman institution goes to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and the anti-corruption body would help the Government in tackling the menace of corruption”. Asked if other States of the country should also follow the suit and constitute State Lokayukta’s, he stated, “all States of country should examine the anti-corruption law and study its provisions”, adding, “as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, the Working Committee of NC would hold deliberations before coming to any conclusion”. Former Chief Minister and PDP patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed when contacted said, “while the country has passed Lokpal Bill today only, the PDP led Government had constituted the anti-corruption body SAC, way back in 2003, adding, “the powers of SAC were similar to the Jan Lokpal because all important people including Chief Minister, Ministers and bureaucrats were brought under the purview of SAC”. Mr Mufti said, “it is ironical that the prestigious institutions like SAC and State Information Commission (SIC) had been rendered defunct by the present State Government”. Congress MP from Jammu – Poonch constituency, Madan Lal Sharma said, “Congress party had given the country an important Legislation, which would help increase the levels of transparency in the country. I had reached New Delhi today morning to witness this historic moment and participated in the voting process”. Favouring constitution of State Lokayukta in the border State, Mr Sharma said, “the coalition should scrutinize all the provisions of the Lokpal Ombudsman passed by Parliament and then assess if a similar body needs to be constituted at the State level”. NC MP Dr Mehboob Beg said, “our party fully backed the passage of this landmark Bill for the creation of an anti-corruption ombudsman. As per the directions of Speaker of Lok Sabha, we have also placed on record the written statement of our party, pertaining to the Bill”. “The Bill at the Centre address the changing perceptions among the countrymen and another important thing is that the Bill has been passed by voice vote”, he said, adding, “if required, similar anti-corruption body should be constituted at State level. The entire political class of the State should hold deliberations over the issue of formation of State Aayukt as had been done in several other States”. BJP Legislature Party leader, Ashok Khajuria echoing similar views said, “our party has extended full support to the Bill and it has been passed with voice vote in Parliament. We would also support constitution of State Aayukt as mentioned in the existing provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 passed today”. Another NC MP Ghulam Nabi Ratanpuri said, “the State can review the provisions of the Bill passed in the Parliament today and then decide, if some of them were required to be extended to the State”. It is pertinent to mention here that several States of the country including Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Delhi and Goa have already constituted Lokayukta in their respective States.