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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Ignoring Sheila's indifference Sarin goes ahead with all-India Lokayukta conference

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 04, 2012
First Published: 23:24 IST(4/10/2012) | Last Updated: 23:39 IST(4/10/2012)

Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin "has finalised his plans" to organise an All India Lokayukta Conference in Delhi from November 2 to 4.  

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The Delhi government had, in the recent past, cited various grounds to "ignore" Sarin's proposals that the capital should organise the conference in the Capital, mirroring the "uneasy" relationship between the state government and the watchdog institution over various issues.

Though Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is yet to respond to his invite, Sarin claimed President Pranab Mukherjee has given his consent to be the chief guest.

"I have received a communiqué from the president's office, saying he will be pleased to inaugurate the conference. Union law minister and senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid has also agreed to be the chief guest during the valedictory session," the Lokayukta told Hindustan Times on Thursday.   

"Since Parliament is debating Lokpal, the CM may not want to court any controversy by attending this conference. Even otherwise, the Lokayukta has been taking on the government over one issue or the other," a government source said. 

 "We have written to the chief minister (Dikshit) that she has played a key role in Delhi's development and she must grace the occasion and speak on the issues of governance," he said. Government sources said "a reminder" has been sent to the CM and it's totally her call (whether to attend the three-day conference). 

"The agenda is to find ways to strengthen institutions such as the Lokayukta, CVC, CBI,  judiciary and media, and end corruption in public life. We want to discuss how we can bring about probity and transparency in governance," Sarin said. "I'm in talks with Lokayuktas from all the states. The idea is to present a galaxy of speakers." he said.

"The event will be held at Vigyan Bhawan and it will be managed within a budget of Rs. 10-12 lakh. The Lokayuktas will stay at their respective state guesthouses," Sarin said.

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