Trinamool presses for Lokayukta deletion

New Delhi: As government scrambles for numbers to pass Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, ally Trinamool Congress today mounted pressure on it by insisting that it will move amendment to delete the provision for setting up Lokayuktas at the state level.

Trinamool Congress, which has six members in the Rajya Sabha, said they will "strongly" oppose the provision and want the deletion of Part III of The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 which deals with setting up of Lokayuktas at state level. "We have already submitted our amendments. We are going to press for it," Mukul Roy, Trinamool leader and Minister of State for Shipping, told reporters here.

The bill passed by Lok Sabha two days ago has provisions for setting up of Lokayuktas in the states with the consent of state governments. Asked whether the six party MPs will vote against the bill, he said the question does not arise as of now.

"After the discussions and after amendments are over, the question of voting will arise. But till now, Trinamool is firm in its opinion that Part III of the bill be deleted from the original bill," Roy said.

"We are just pressing for the deletion of Lokayukta part, We have no problem with Lokpal part," he said, adding they are in favour of Lokayuktas but it should be done by states and not the Centre. He said he and other party leaders have spoken to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to sort out the issue.