Congress seeks clarification on delay in Lokayukta appointment

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Bhubaneswar: The opposition Congress today sought a clarification from Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik regarding delay in appointment of a Lokayukta, chairman of State Human Rights Commission, Police Compliant Authority and Security Commission.

Opposition leader Narasingha Mishra raised the issue inthe Assembly while initiating discussion on the voting of demands for grants, relating to home and general administration, held by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“If you (CM) are not corrupt, why the state government has not issued notification for appointment of Lokayukta?” Mishra asked.

“This shows that you are not interested to enquire intoallegations of corruption against persons holding high posts,”he observed.

Stating that the state Assembly was the first in the country to pass the Odisha Lokayukta Act in February, 2014, Mishra said, he suspected “lack of political will”, on part of the Chief Minister, to issue a notification for the appointment of a Lokayukta, even though the Bill got the President’s assent last year.

Accusing the Chief Minister of sheltering corrupt officials, the Congress leader said the Supreme Court has given a clear directive for setting up the Police Complaint Authority and the State Security Commission.

“I suspect that the government did not set up state Security Commission since there is provision of taking leader of opposition as a member in the panel,” Mishra said.

Alleging that the law and order situation has completely collapsed in the state, the Congress leader said, “The state is heading towards jungle raj since the ruling party uses police to settle political scores against opposition parties.”

Also read: Odisha Assembly adjourned twice over stole removal issue

Congress also said the rate of conviction in Odisha is only 9.5 per cent, the lowest in the country, even though at least six women get raped in the state every day.

Member of ruling BJD, Amar Prasad Satpathy, however, rejected Mishra’s allegations and claimed that the state government has been able to reduce Maoist violence.

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