Aam Aadmi Party has come down heavily on the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Goa for its attempts to amend the Lokayukta Act in order to make it a mere decorative position by rendering it tooth less tiger and said the BJP is doing this only because it wants to continue with its corrupt acts without any hindrance.
AAP Goa convener Rahul Mhambre while pointing out that his party was formed to rid corruption and fight against it, said they cannot accept any dilution of the powers or scope of the Lokayukta which is a necessary watch dog over governance and government and lamented that the BJP is trying to institutionalize corruption by public functionaries and elected representatives.
He pointed out that as the Congress and the BJP had rejected Arvind Kejriwal’s demand to pass the Jan Lok Pal bill the Aam Aadmi Party was constituted to contest elections, come to power and pass the bill as challenged by the two national parties.
“Unfortunately today in Goa the BJP is trying to dilute the powers of the Lokayukta smarting as it is by the fact that the previous Lokayukta Justice P K Mishra had passed severe comments on the BJP government in Goa and even said that one of the persons in the cabinet was not fit to be a minister,” said Mhambre.
He further pointed out that Justice P K Mishra disgusted with the inaction by the chief minister and the Governor to his recommendations had stated “there is no dearth of Dhritarashtra and or Gandhari these days,” referring to the duo.
Fearing such onslaughts the BJP government in Goa is now amending the law so that it can appoint any retired High Court lawyer as the Lokayukta in Goa instead of the earlier clause that said only a retired Supreme Court Judge of Chief Justice of High Court could be appointed to this position.
He said the proposal to appoint any “eminent person” as Upalokpal is not only unacceptable as presently only a retired High Court Judge could be appointed and argued that “eminent person” implies that the BJP is creating a position for some of its functionaries to be appointed to the post after their retirement.
One of the strong provision of the Lokayukta Bill is that if the Lokpal’s report is not rejected within three months of its submission it would be deemed to have been accepted and the concerned person be it the chief minister, MLA or member of any local authority had to vacate office.
What is alarming is that Dr Pramod Sawant wants to delete this very provision because he knows that he and his ministerial colleagues will have to resign because of their corruption as the earlier Lokpal had already stated that one of Dr Pramod’s cabinet colleague is not fit to be a minister.
Rahul said that the chief minister who is currently talking about Swami Vivekananda being his role model should follow Vivekananda who was an embodiment of honesty and integrity and demanded that he follow his role model in letter and spirit.
He also strongly condemned BJP Goa President Sadanand Tanavade for his statement that Lokayukta was behaving like a “neta” and argued that the Lokayukta who is appointed to be a watchdog against corruption is not expected to behave like the ruling party’s cheer leader.
Rahul said it is clear that the BJP wants the Lokayukta to function at its bidding and said this is not the intent of the institution and said AAP will make it functional by giving Lokpal all the authority and judicial powers to wipe out corruption when it comes to power at the 2022 elections.