Lokayukta should be free from govt interference: Anna

Mumbai: The institution of Lokayukta in Maharashtra should be an autonomous body like the Election Commission and free from government interference, Anna Hazare said here today.

Hazare, who is in Mumbai to meet political leaders to muster support for a strong Lokayukta legislation in the state, was speaking to reporters after meeting Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray in Dadar. Raj has expressed his willingness to support a strong and effective Lokayukta in the state, Hazare said.

Hazare and aide Suresh Pathare met the MNS president at his residence Krushna Kunj to seek his support for the legislation, aimed at curbing corruption. "Corruption is on the rise. It has become difficult for the common man to survive due to price rise. Excessive money is spent on development," Hazare said.

An autonomous body like Lokayukta would help in curtailing corruption, Hazare said. "It should be an autonomous body like the Election Commission, High Court, and Supreme Court and there should be no government interference," he added.

Hazare lauded Raj for initiatives like conducting examination for party candidates to contest the civic body polls, held in February. He expressed confidence that 60-65 per cent corrupt activities would be curtailed because of the Lokayukta.

The veteran social activist also reiterated his demand for the `Right to Reject` a candidate during elections. If people do not like a particular candidate there should be an option of Right to Reject, which would pave way for re-elections and purity in politics, he said.