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Jayalalithaa against bringing PM under Lokpal

It would seriously dent the PM`s authority even if charges were proved wrong, Jaya said.



Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister
Jayalalithaa has said she was against bringing the Prime
Minister under the Lokpal`s ambit as it would undermine his
authority and pave way for a "parallel government."

"The Prime Minister should be excluded from the purview of
the bill as he is already covered under the Prevention of
Corruption Act and the CBI can investigate," she said in an interview to a private news channel.

Expressing fears that the bill could be used by foreign
powers to "destabilise" the nation, she said if the Prime
Minister was included under the Bill, he cannot function as he
would have to focus more on defending himself against the
accusations.

"It would seriously dent the PM`s authority even if charges
were proved wrong. The Prime Minister will be put on the
defensive and he has to constantly defend himself," she said
but added that the state government will give its opinion on
this issue only after getting the final draft which would be
tabled in Parliament.

Jayalalithaa, who had made a sensational offer of support
of her party -- AIADMK -- to the Congress last November in
case of DMK pulling out in connection with the 2G spectrum
scam, however, said she was not supporting any individual.

"I am not supporting any individual but the institution.
Unless he is wrested with full powers, he cannot function.
Nothing should erode or undermine the Prime Minister`s
authority," she said.

On last year`s offer of support to Congress, Jayalalithaa
said it was a "one-time offer", made in a particular context
to Congress, implying it was only in the case of DMK pulling
out.

It was meant to assure Congress-led UPA coalition
especially in the wake of feeling perhaps it was "hesitating"
to take action on former Telecom Minister A Raja due to
"coalition compulsions", she said.

"But Congress made it clear that its alliance with DMK
continued, and even after losing elections. Why Congress did
not accept the offer, they are the best judge," she said.

Jayalalithaa also made it clear that there was no proposal
to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi, as "it is not
appropriate to do so", when her party was still in alliance
with DMK.

The UPA Chairperson had greeted Jayalalithaa on her
resounding victory after the April 13 polls.

On a "larger role" in Delhi and national politics, she said
she had no such ambitions but insisted that she will perform
well in whatever responsibility entrusted to her.

"I take life as it comes. I never planned for a career in
politics, never ever thought of becoming Chief Minister of
Tamil Nadu. I did not want to become either but somehow I
became," she said.

Jayalalithaa said she had an ambition for the country, of
India becoming the superpower.

"We have the potential. We have to have a strong and
patriotic leader at the helm of affairs for this purpose," she
said.

On issues such as working with Congress and prospects of
its general secretary Rahul Gandhi becoming Prime Minister,
she evaded a direct reply but said she will deal with it "when
the situation arises."

The 63 year-old leader also indicated she had "matured"
over the years and was willing to work with the Centre to
ensure the state`s welfare.

On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi participating in
her swearing-in ceremony, Jayalalithaa said he had returned
the compliment as she had participated in his swearing-in.

She said Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj
and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit meeting her were
`courtesy calls,` and described them as `charming and
gracious ladies.`

PTI

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