By Arun Pratap Singh
DEHRADUN, 6 Dec: Congress today alleged that the BJP Government was not interested in appointing a Lok Ayukta in the state and was not doing anything about appointing one. Congress members demanded a discussion in the Vidhan Sabha on the Lok Ayukta issue suspending all the business, under Rule 310. However, Speaker PC Aggarwal said that the matter was not of urgent importance and agreed to hear the issue on admissibility under Rule 58.
When the issue came up for hearing, Leader of the Opposition Indira Hridayesh alleged that the cases of corruption during BJP rule were rising by the day, but the government had not shown any interest in appointing a Lok Ayukta to deal with them.
Responding to the Congress allegation, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant asserted that the previous Congress Government had weakened the institution of Lok Ayukta by diluting its authority. Since the amendments proposed by the BJP Government in the Lok Ayukta Act to empower the institution were presently the property of the House, it was up to the House to decide when to pass the legislation and implement the Lok Ayukta Act.
However, the Opposition members were not at all convinced by the government response and alleged that the government was making lame excuses to delay the Bill since it did not wish the Lok Ayukta to be established in Uttarakhand. Congress members Pritam Singh, Karan Mahra, Mamata Rakesh led by Indira Hridayesh stood up to demand a discussion on appointing a Lok Ayukta in the state and discussion under the rule 310. After a while, they rushed to the Well of the House and raised slogans against the government. At the Speaker’s persuasion, Congress members returned to their seats after some time but they got incited by a comment made by senior BJP member Munna Singh Chauhan and again rushed to the Well and started raising slogans. Amid the slogans by the Opposition members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prakash Pant alleged that the Opposition members were not interested in serious discussions and debate, and had not even raised any written question seeking government response during Question Hour. He added that there was not even a single question raised by the Opposition members during the Question Hour, today.
On the other hand, Opposition members alleged that the government did not wish to take any action against corrupt people and therefore was delaying the Lok Ayukta even as corruption was rising steadily in the state. Indira Hridayesh alleged that the government was falsely claiming zero tolerance against corruption since it had not shown any seriousness in tackling the corruption and punishing the guilty. They added that once the Lok Ayukta Act was implemented in the state, corruption would get exposed, the government did not want it!