Lokayukta issue: Gujarat delegation to meet Prez
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Last Updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 20:56
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 others.

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 alleged.

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 recall.

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

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.


First Published: Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 18:23

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