Cong seeks to widen ambit of Lokpal Bill

Congress sought to widen the scope of the Lokpal Bill suggesting that the Joint Committee to draft the legislation could also go into the issue of corruption in the corporate sector and NGOs.

Last Updated: Apr 12, 2011, 21:23 PM IST

New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday sought to widen
the scope of the Lokpal Bill suggesting that the Joint
Committee to draft the legislation could also go into the
issue of corruption in the corporate sector and NGOs as part
of a comprehensive package against graft.

"The anti-corruption law in the US can look into the
functioning of the corporate sector and the NGO
(non-governmental organisations) sector and it should be
considered", party General Secretary Digvijay Singh told
reporters here.
However, he sidestepped questions as to whether a probe
into corruption in the corporate sector and NGOs was `the need
of the hour`. Singh also said that till now he considered
Hazare a Gandhian with impeccable secular credentials.

Replying to a question, he said that the National
Advisory Council headed by Congress President Sonia Gandhi
could also go into the Jan Lokpal Bill formulated by Hazare
and his supporters.
Asked whether Hazare and his supporters needed to be
represented in the NAC, he merely said that "his supporters
are already there".

Insisting that the issue of corruption would not end
with the enactment of the Lokpal bill, he said that a
comprehensive strategy needed to be evolved taking into
consideration matters like the five-point plan unveiled
by Gandhi at the party plenary for transparent governance.

Replying to a volley of questions on Hazare and the
campaign launched by him, he said that a battle had to be
fought at every level against corruption including action
against bureaucrats for disproportionate assets as was taking
place in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.

"It will be in the highest tradition of transparency if
they declare," he remarked when asked whether representatives
of the civil society in the Joint Committee on the Lokpal Bill
should declare their assets as the Ministers on the panel have
already done so.

Describing Hazare as a "very fine human being who has
done excellent service in the rural sector", he took a dig at
the Gandhian for praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra

"There is no Lokayukta in Gujarat for seven years. The
post is vacant and he is praising Modi. Why does he not
pressurise Modi over the Jan Lokpal Bill and for appointing
the Lokayukta as people of Gujarat do not know where to
complain", Singh remarked.

Asked for his reaction over BJP veteran L K Advani`s
statement that Hazare`s fast achieved more in four days than
what the opposition had in two months when it was demanding a
JPC probe into the 2G scam, Singh said it was a "sad
reflection on the opposition".

Hyderabad: Eleven persons, including the
brother of an MLA, were arrested at Anantapur district of
Andhra Pradesh in connection with the killing of T Konda
Reddy, an accused in the murder of TDP legislator Paritala
Ravindra, police said on Tuesday.

Balaji, brother of TDP MLA from Penukonda constituency
Paritala Sunitha (widow of Ravindra), along with 11 others
were arrested for the murder of Konda Reddy, who was shot dead
in his house in Anantapur on the evening of February 22,
Anantapur OSD Kola Krishna said over phone.

Reddy, who was accused No 13 in Ravindra murder
case, was a Congress leader and former mandal president of
Kangaganapalle town.

Reddy was arrested in Ravindra murder case in 2005 and
was released on bail in February 2009. He had survived three
attempts on his life earlier.

Balaji, Vinay Kumar alias Vijay, Chandra, Ramaji Naidu,
Vinod, Nagendra and Ramakrishna have been accused of
conspiring Reddy`s murder while the four others were arrested
on charge of giving shelter and providing vehicles to the
accused, Krishna said.

"All the eleven persons were apprehended from different
parts of Anantapur district. During interrogation Vijay
confessed to firing at Konda Reddy," the official said,
adding the motive behind the murder was rivalry and area
domination in the faction-hit Anantapur district in
Rayalaseema region of Andhra Pradesh.

Police also seized one .38 revolver, one pistol, one 12
boregun and few sickles from the accused besides Rs 1.54 lakh
in cash and all of them have been sent to judicial remand,
Krishna said.

Earlier, on January 3, G Suryanarayana Reddy alias Suri,
who was the prime accused in Ravindra murder case, was shot
dead by gunmen at Yousufguda area here.

Hyderabad Police had arrested four persons in connection
with his killing even as the main suspect and his one-time
aide, Bhanu Kiran, continues to remain at large.

Paritala Ravindra, the TDP legislator from Penukonda,
was gunned down by Suri`s followers in January 2005 and a
charge sheet was filed against 16 persons.