Lokpal not enough to check corruption: Left

Left leaders on Friday said the country needs laws for poll and land reforms and tackling corruption by corporates.

Last Updated: Sep 02, 2011, 15:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Asserting that enactment of the Lokpal Bill is not enough to check graft, Left leaders on Friday said the country needs laws for poll and land reforms
and tackling corruption by corporates.

Addressing a protest rally here, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat accused the UPA government of being the "most corrupt" in independent India with "a scam is being unearthed every single day" and found fault with the economic policies
pursued by it.

He said that the country needs legislations to tackle corruption in judiciary and on land and electoral reforms.

"We need a strong Lokpal. But one single Lokpal will not help us in the fight against corruption," he told protesters, a view echoed by CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI leaders AB Bardhan and D Raja and Forward Bloc`s Debabrata Biswas.

Karat said the government bill does not have provision for bringing the corrupt practices of corporates under the ambit of Lokpal or bringing the whole bureaucracy under the ombudsman.

"Thousands of acres of land are being acquired by government. Lokpal alone is not helpful in tackling the issue of land acquisition. For that what we need is a strong (land acquisition) law," he said.

He said right to recall is not the main issue on electoral reforms but how to tackle the influence of money in election process. "It is not the right to recall but first, it
should be ending corrupt practices in elections that should be our aim," he said.

"In the government bill, the corporates or the whole bureaucracy is not there. There is no provision in the bill to tackle corruption by corporates. There is no provision to tackle the issue of corporates getting contracts for lucrative projects using corrupt methods," Karat said.

"The Lokpal should have provisions to blacklist such corporates who indulge in corrupt methods. It also should have powers to recover the loss caused to exchequer," he said.

Bardhan said the economic policies pursued by successive governments were the root cause of corruption in the country.

Biswas said the fight against corruption is a long one and it does not end with the enactment of a Lokpal Bill.

"There are several faces of corruption. So one single law will not help. Land is one issue. The corporates are acquiring land through corrupt means and government is aiding it by saying it is for development," he said.

Referring to Anna Hazare`s fast, he said, "Anna Hazare has gone. Now the issue is also gone. The looting is still on. Ramlila may be asleep but the red flag (Left parties) cannot sleep."

PTI