No consensus on Lokayukta bill among parties in Bi

Kumar said "we are firm in our resolve to bring the bill in the winter session of the state assembly commencing from December two."

Patna: No consensus emerged on the draft
of the bill for a strong and effective Lokayukta proposed by
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday with chief opposition
parties RJD, LJP and Congress accusing Kumar of bringing the
bill in `undue haste for getting national acclaim.`

However, Chief Minister Kumar described the meeting
as `a fruitful exercise` and sounded optimistic.

"We have enlisted the suggestions and views of
various leaders during the meeting which will be vetted by the
three-member Group of Ministers (GOMs) led by Deputy Chief
Minister S K Modi before finalising the draft for a strong and
effective Lokayukta," Kumar told reporters.

After fine-tuning the draft, the bill would be
brought for approval by the state cabinet and then forwarded
to Governor Devanand Konwar for his nod, he said.

Kumar said "we are firm in our resolve to bring the
bill in the winter session of the state assembly commencing
from December two."

Differing from Kumar, Chief opposition RJD and
Congress felt the chief minister appeared to be in `undue
haste for national acclaim and rushing with the bill in
the house.`

"What is the necessity of rushing with the bill at
this stage... it should have been circulated for opinions from
panchayat level to district and commissioners level and up to
the state," state RJD President Ramchandra Purve and Congress
Legislature Party leader in the state assembly Sadanand Singh
told reporters.

Stating that the present draft for `Lokayukta` bill
was nowhere near the bill being brought by the Uttrakhand
government, Singh suggested that there was immediate need for
intense debate on the form of the bill from all level to rein
in corruption.

"After all the responsibility of those involved in
corruption be fixed," he said.

Singh said the Chief Minister should have waited as a
decision was expected on the Lokpal bill in near future. "In
the event of enactment of any law on the issue of Lokayukta by
the Centre, the whole exercise being carried forward on
Lokayukta in Bihar in undue haste will become infructuous," he

Kumar should have decided to bring the bill
after thorough consultations during the budget session of the
assembly instead of bringing it during the winter session of
the house, the Congress leader said adding the views of the
Congress and the RJD were identical on the issue.

BSP leader Baban Kushwaha demanded that the Lokayukta
be a seven-member body with representation from minorities,
SC/ST and women and selection process of the Lokayukta be

State CPI Secretary Badri Narayan Lal also described
the proposed draft of the Lokayukta bill as `weak` and laid
thrust on constituting a strong and effective Lokayukta.
The party gave several suggestions to be incorporated
in the draft for setting an example in the country.

CPI-ML (Liberation) too dubbed the present one as `a
weak` draft for the Lokayukta bill.


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