Foresight-2012: Speakers bat for strong Lokpal

Bhubaneswar: The second annual conclave of OTV, Foresight-2012, was held at hotel Swosti Premium today. The convention was held in two sessions, in English and in Odia.

The theme of the first session was "Corruption runs in a vicious circle: Can Lokpal break it? The distinguished panelist included BJP Parliamentarian Chandan Mitra, senior Congress leader Rehuka Chowdhry, eminent journalist Prabhu Chawla and important Team Anna member and former top cop Kiran Bedi.

Team Anna member Kiran Bedi strongly argued in favour of an autonomous Lokpal institution and wondered the present bill was caught between the two houses of theParliament after it was passed by the Lok Sabha, Prabhu Chawala raised the question that how come a single body like the Lokpal control corruption when the entire system had been responsible for the rot. Kiran Bedi also raised questions about the intentions of the government in providing a strong Lokpal.

However stressing on the accountability factor of the government senior Congress leader Renuka Choudhry said that the government was determined to provide a strong Lokpal and hoped that the bill would be passed in the next session of the Parliament. The BJP Parliamentarian Chandan Mitra too fought for a strong and independent Lokpal and argued that the CBI should come under the ambit of the Lokpal.

`Abuse of mineral resources: Who is responsible` was the theme for the second session. Finance minister Prafulla Ghadai highlighted the policies of the government to stem the rot. But senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra blamed the government policies and lack of vigilance for the irregularities. PCC president Niranjan Pattanaik and former director of mines Bijoy Krushna Mohanty also participated in the discussion.

The panelists in both the sessions took questions from the audience which included eminent politicians and experts.