Lokpal Bill: Left parties to launch agitation



New Delhi: The Left parties on Monday announced a nationwide agitational programme to highlight issues relating to corruption and demand an effective Lokpal Bill, with the CPI saying the Prime Minister and his office should be within the purview of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

The CPI(M), CPI, RSP and Forward, which met here yesterday, decided to picket central government offices across the country, hold demonstrations, dharnas and rallies between July 15 and 21, just ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, a joint statement by the four parties said.

The Left parties decided to demand adoption of an effective Lokpal legislation and establishing a National Judicial Commission to curb corruption in the higher judiciary.

They would also seek stringent action against "rampant corruption fostered by the big business-politician-bureaucrat nexus", implementation of electoral reforms including introduction of proportional representation system to check money power in elections, steps to unearth black money and repatriation of the illegal money stashed abroad.

"We are for jurisdiction of the Lokpal on the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister's Office, because excluding him on any ground would mean exclusion of at least one-third of the entire government," CPI general secretary AB Bardhan told a press conference here.

Works of various departments and ministries are monitored by the PMO. There are directions given by the PMO on many issues, he said and gave the example of a recent alleged scam involving the allotment of high-security S-Band spectrum by the Department of Space which fell under the PMO.

PTI