Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress today strongly criticised the Odisha Government over its claim of being the first state in the country to pass the Lokayukta Bill- 2014 in the Assembly and moved a privilege motion against the Chief Minister and Parliamentary Affairs Minister for misleading the House.
"It is Uttarakhand state which is first state to pass the Lokayukta Bill and not Odisha as claimed by the state government," Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said in a statement.
Stating that Uttarakhand Assembly passed the Lokayukta Bill- 2014 on January 21, Harichandan pointed out that Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das who piloted the Bill on behalf of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has misled the House by making such a claim.
Terming the state government`s claim as "unfortunate", Harichandan said the state`s information and public relations department has also issued full page advertisements to different local dailies claiming that Odisha was first among the states to pass such an anti-corruption bill in the House.
The advertisement which also carried a photograph of the Chief Minister said: "Corruption is the biggest enemy of development. Our fight against it will continue." It also informed the public that the properties of the public servants proved guilty by the court in corruption would be confiscated.
Claiming that the proposed Lokayukta in Odisha could not be successful unless the State Vigilance is given total autonomy, he said "purpose of a strong Lokayukta cannot be fulfilled unless vigilance wing is not given complete freedom. How can the vigilance under the government control inquire into the corruption cases against ministers and the Chief Minister,".
Harichandan alleged that the Bill was passed in a hurry without a public debate. "Some of my amendments like giving power to Lokayukta to take up case sou-motu have been rejected by the government," he said.