PM confers with colleagues on Guj Lokayukta



New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday held a meeting with his senior cabinet colleagues in the backdrop of the controversies surrounding the appointment of Lokayukta in BJP-ruled Gujarat.

Singh held consultations with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Defence Minister AK Antony for 80 minutes at his residence.

There was no official word on what transpired at the meeting.

The meeting took place a day before BJP's scheduled meetintg with President Pratibha Patil tomorrow to press for the recall of state Governor Kamla Beniwal.

BJP has accused the Governor of appointing the Lokayukta in the state without the consulting the state Government.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today wrote to the Prime Minister demanding the Governor Kamla Beniwal be recalled over her controversial appointment of Lokayukta bypassing the state government and annulment of the appointment of the Lokayukta.

The Governor had appointed justice RA Mehta as Gujarat Lokayukta last week.

BJP has sought to make a big controversy out of the issue by disrupting the functioning of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Both the Houses are likely to face disruption tomorrow as well when Parliament meets after a break of two days.

Meanwhile, Congress also plans to counter BJP's attack arguing that the law for the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat nowhere mentions that the Governor has to consult the Council of Ministers before making any appointment.

Congress also alleged BJP was trying to create a controversy on the issue to deflect attention from Chief Minister Narendra Modi's "questionable deeds".

PTI