The Makkal Needhi Maiam party, which was recently launched by actor-turned-politician Kamal Haasan, has welcomed the Supreme Court's direction to the Tamil Nadu government to set up a Lokayukta immediately. In a statement issued on Thursday, the party also took a sharp shot at the Tamil Nadu government.
"The Supreme Court has observed that the reasons stated by the Thamizh Nadu government for not setting up Lokayukta are not acceptable and that it should begin the process of setting up Lokayukta immediately," read the statement.
The party claimed that if at all it came to power in the state, setting up the anti-corruption watchdog office would be its very first act.
"It is shameful that the Lokayukta has not been set up in the last four years. It is one of the medicines that will cure the rampant disease called corruption. Lokayukta should be constituted without further delay," it said.
The party also took a shot at the existing political parties for not moving to set up a Lokayukta at an earlier date. "It is poetic justice that the same set of people who are steeped in corruption have been ordered to set up the ombudsman to eradicate corruption," the statement concluded.
Earlier in the day, the top court had ordered 11 states and Puducherry to set up the Lokayukta immediately. Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and the union territory of Puducherry, were the governments that now have to expedite the process of appointing a Lokayukta and set up the associated structures.
The Tamil Nadu government lawyer was in for a particularly hard ribbing, after telling the court that the state did not need a Lokayukta because it already had a vigilance department.
(With inputs from IANS)