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Govt ‘cheated’ on Lokayukta Act: Mishra

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, Mr Narasingha Mishra dared Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to produce the gazetted notification dated 16 January, 2015 giving force to the Lokayukta Act in Odisha as is made out from a recent order of the Supreme Court.

Accusing the government of ‘cheating’ the court and the Assembly, ‘taking everyone for a ride’, Mishra read out the order based on the affidavit filed by the chief secretary that the Lokayukta Act has come in to force since January 2015 and formulation of rules is in progress.

Where is the notification , summon the law secretary, said Mishra while saying the CM must produce the notification or quit. If I am wrong , I will apologize, said the Leader of Opposition.

Interestingly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik did not respond or make any reference to the Lokpal/Lokayukta act in his reply to the debate on budgetary grants for the home department on Thursday.

The CM also did not respond to several other points relating to the mining scam, chit fund, land scams and the rampant corruption at the block level raised by Mishra Government chief whip, Amar Satpathy, however, tried to explain that the interpretation was incorrect and the government had said notification process is on.

Mr Satpathy said the CM will further clarify the matter. (however the CM did not utter a word on the subject). Mishra said Odisha government had claimed credit of being the first state to enact the Lokayukta in 2014 following the nationwide agitation over the issue.

The Bill was passed in 2014 and the President of India gave his assent in 2015. Prior to the Lokayukta bill, Odisha had a Lokpal in place. But the government chose not to appoint a Lokpal after the death of the person in 2013.

The Lokayukta can come in to force only after a gazette notification is done and this has not been so since last three years nor has a Lokpal been appointed, charged Mishra.

The Supreme Court had recently asked the state to file a affidavit on the status and has given orders he said while reading out that it says the act has come in to force since 2015.

If this is so show us the notification, challenged Mishra. He referred to the mega mining scam in the state, which according to M B Shah Commission warranted a CBI probe.

The mine owners have nexus with the ruling party and funded the party, he alleged before asking the government to spell out how many cases were registered, disposed and how many convictions have taken place.

The Chit Fund scam rocked the state and all that the government said was it has created a corpus fund of Rs 300 crore . A BJD MP is in jail, another BJD MLA has just come out on bail on health grounds, remarked Mishra.

The CM called for an end to the “PC” system (percentage of bribe) but it is going on in every block of the state, said Mishra while daring any member of the House to stand up and say that there is no PC in his or her constituency.

This government is deaf and dumb, charged Mishra while reeling out references to the dal, water and land scams. Interestingly, Mishra lauded the DGP and the Director Vigilance for their sincereity. But also pointed out at the increasing instances of rape in the state and low conviction rates.