Talk to all political parties for consensus on Lokpal:Mamata

Kolkata: The Centre should talk to all political parties before arriving at a consensus on the Lokpal Bill, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said and stuck to her stand that it should be left to the states to set up Lokayauktas on models they choose. "We think that the Lokpal should be made on the basis of consensus and that the Centre should talk to all parties in this regard. All parties support the Lokpal. But let it be left to states to decide what model they should choose for the Lokayuktas," Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat here.

She said that when her party raised the issue in the Lok Sabha, it was told by the government that suitable amendments would be brought to accommodate the Trinamool Congress views on the Lokayuktas. "But when the bill came, it was found that it left the option open to the states to set up Lokayuktas, but on the model determined by the Centre. I want to set up Lokakukta but what if I do not follow the central model? What if we can set up a better model of Lokayukta?

Speaking on the Lokpal logjam, she said, "In the Lok Sabha we said `do not bulldoze the federal structure." Rubbishing reports that she had entered into a deal with the Congress, she said, "Some are saying that Mamata Banerjee has entered into a deal with the Congress. To them I say few do the kind of transparent politics as Mamata Banerjee.“

Banerjee said her party`s stand on Lokayukta was the stand of all states. Pointing out that she was not in favour of toppling the UPA government, Banerjee said she, however, would continue to `speak on issues that affect common people`. “We have raised objections on some policies of the central government like entry of foreign investment in the retail sector. Nearly 50 crore people are associated with the retail sector,“ she said.

“They would be adversely affected with the entry of of foreign capital in retail. Again, we have said that there should be no forcible acquisition of agricultural land. And our policy on land is the best,“ she concluded.