Congress CMs display loyalty

Congress CMs display loyalty

No suggestion forthcoming on six contentious issues facing Lokpal draft panel

Several chief ministers belonging to the Congress party made full use of the opportunity that came their way through a missive from Lokpal Drafting Committee Chairman and Union minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Here are some examples: in his letter to Mukherjee, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda remarked: “I have carefully considered the matter. As you know, Haryana state is being governed by Congress party which is a national party, having a well defined cadre hierarchy. As such, our stand on the issues connected with the draft Lokpal Bill will be same as that of the party at the national level.”

Kerala Chief Minister Ommen Chandy had this to say: “I subscribe to the views of the All India Congress Committee.”

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jarbom Gamlin went even further in his praise of the party. Here it is: “I would want to state that the Congress government of Arunachal Pradesh being an extension of Congress-led government at the Centre, holds the same mandate and view on the matter and extends its unequivocal support to any decision that the party high command will take.”

He did not stop there as he added: “I find it heartening that the Centre has taken up the matter of setting up Lokpal to contain corruption in high places in right earnest, a move which would have a historic impact on future generations”.

This is what Digambar Kamat of Goa, another Congress Chief Minister, had to say: “After examining the issues in this regard and considering the fact that my government is headed by the Congress, Government of Goa will concur (with) the approach adopted and decision taken by the central leadership of the Congress.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, unlike his party counterparts, maintained restraint but brought in Nationalist Congress Party – partner in his government – when he told the Centre that the views of the state government would be in conformity with the central leadership of Congress and NCP.

BJP CMs’ view

As regards the BJP chief ministers, they were critical of the way in which the Centre sought their views, in the form of a questionnaire. Although Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi praised the effort of the Centre bringing in the Lokpal, he criticised the move to consult the states without preparing the final draft as “premature and casual.”

Like Modi, his Karnataka counterpart B S Yeddyurappa too praised the effort to set up Lokpal but wanted wider consultation and sought a meeting of the CMs for the purpose.
Mukherjee had sought the views of the chief ministers of all states on the six contentious issues facing the drafting committee including inclusion of the prime minister and the higher judiciary and role of MPs inside Parliament.

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