Lokayukta issue: Gujarat delegation to meet Prez

A delegation, consisting of two former Gujarat ministers, is meeting President Pratibha Patil in Delhi.

Vadodara: A delegation, consisting of two
former Gujarat ministers, is meeting President Pratibha Patil
in Delhi Thursday with regard to appointment of Justice (retd)
RA Mehta as Lokayukta of the state.

The delegation comprising of Gordhan Zadafiya and
Nalin Bhatt also includes former BJP MP K D Jeswani, former
Surat Mayor Fakir Chauhan, former MLA Siddharth Parmar among
Talking to reporters here today, Bhatt said "we will
request President to ensure Mehta takes over his charge (as
Lokayukta) and start investigating into the serious corruption
charges levelled against Modi."

"We will present our stand before the president on the
issue saying the Gujarat governor Dr Kamla has taken this
decision after consulting legal experts and appointed
lokayukta as per the powers bestowed on governor by the
constitution," he said.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi and BJP national high
command are trying to create legal hurdles in preventing Mehta
from assuming the office so that investigations into
corruptions charges against Modi are further delayed, Bhatt

Observing that the question of recalling the governor
does not arise as she has appointed the Lokayukta as per the
norms, Bhatt said, "Modi and BJP high command are much worried
over Mehta`s appointment as lokayukta and have been demanding
recall of the governor."
Gujarat government has contended that the governor
appointed Mehta as Lokayukta by "bypassing" it and sought her

The party even resorted to disrupting the proceedings
of the Parliament over the issue in the recently concluded

A BJP delegation, led by veteran leader Lal Krishna
Advani, had met the President a few days back demanding recall
of Gujarat governor Dr Kamla.

The state BJP had also approached Gujarat High Court
challenging the appointment of Lokayukta.

Modi had also written a letter to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh demanding that the governor be recalled.

Questioning Modi`s intentions, Bhatt said "if Modi was
honest, he should have cooperated in the appointment of
lokayukta soon after the post fell vacant in 2003. He did not
do it because he never wanted lokayukta start looking into the
corruption charges against him".

The purpose of delegation in meeting the President is
to counter the "systematic misinformation" campaign launched
by BJP on the issue, he added.

Criticising Modi for his announcement to launch a
three-day fast from September 17 for communal harmony and
amity post the recent verdict of the Supreme Court, Bhatt
said, "if Modi thinks his stand is vindicated after Supreme
Court`s judgement, then he should dissolve Gujarat Assembly
and seek fresh mandate.

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to pass any order
on Modi`s alleged inaction to contain the 2002 Gujarat riots
after the Godhra carnage and referred the matter to the
concerned magistrate in Ahmedabad for a decision.


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