No consensus on Lokayukta bill among parties in Bihar

However, Chief Minister Kumar described the meeting as 'a fruitful exercise' and sounded optimistic.

"We have enlisted the suggestions and views of various leaders during the meeting which will be vetted by the three-member Group of Ministers (GOMs) led by Deputy Chief Minister S K Modi before finalising the draft for a strong and effective Lokayukta," Kumar told reporters.

After fine-tuning the draft, the bill would be brought for approval by the state cabinet and then forwarded to Governor Devanand Konwar for his nod, he said.

Kumar said "we are firm in our resolve to bring the bill in the winter session of the state assembly commencing from December two."

Differing from Kumar, Chief opposition RJD and Congress felt the chief minister appeared to be in 'undue haste for national acclaim and rushing with the bill in the house.'

"What is the necessity of rushing with the bill at this stage... it should have been circulated for opinions from panchayat level to district and commissioners level and up to the state," state RJD President Ramchandra Purve and Congress Legislature Party leader in the state assembly Sadanand Singh told reporters.

Stating that the present draft for 'Lokayukta' bill was nowhere near the bill being brought by the Uttrakhand government, Singh suggested that there was immediate need for intense debate on the form of the bill from all level to rein in corruption.

"After all the responsibility of those involved in corruption be fixed," he said.

Singh said the Chief Minister should have waited as a decision was expected on the Lokpal bill in near future. "In the event of enactment of any law on the issue of Lokayukta by the Centre, the whole exercise being carried forward on Lokayukta in Bihar in undue haste will become infructuous," he said.

Kumar should have decided to bring the bill after thorough consultations during the budget session of the assembly instead of bringing it during the winter session of the house, the Congress leader said adding the views of the Congress and the RJD were identical on the issue.

BSP leader Baban Kushwaha demanded that the Lokayukta be a seven-member body with representation from minorities, SC/ST and women and selection process of the Lokayukta be transparent.

State CPI Secretary Badri Narayan Lal also described the proposed draft of the Lokayukta bill as 'weak' and laid thrust on constituting a strong and effective Lokayukta.
The party gave several suggestions to be incorporated in the draft for setting an example in the country.

CPI-ML (Liberation) too dubbed the present one as 'a weak' draft for the Lokayukta bill.

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