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Press Trust Of India
Dehradun, December 15, 2013
Narendra Modi today mocked Rahul Gandhi's advocacy of Lokpal Bill, saying if his heart really aches for it why Congress was not implementing Lokayukta Act brought in by the previous BJP government in Uttarakhand. Modi was addressing his maiden rally in the state after being chosen BJP's prime ministerial candidate here at the parade ground.

In a reference to Rahul Gandhi, who held a press conference in the national capital yesterday and appealed all the political parties to shed their differences over the Bill, Modi said why the Congress leader was being so vocal about the issue when his party was silent in Uttarakhand.

"A Congress leader was yesterday talking about Lokpal at a press conference. My question is how can the leader of a party which has shied away from the creation of the anti-corruption watchdog so far be so vocal on the issue.

"I want to ask him if his heart really aches for Lokpal why hasn't his party allowed the implementation of the Lokyukta Act in Uttarakhand passed by the state Assembly during BJP chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri's tenure?" he said.

Drafted at a time when Anna Hazare's agitation for a Lokpal Bill was at its peak, Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill was passed unanimously by the state Assembly on November 1, 2011 after Khanduri took over the reins in the state for a second time in September, 2011.

Though given presidential ascent after a two year wait in September this year, the Act is yet to be implemented in Uttarakhand as Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna wants to bring it into force only after certain amendments.

Uttarakhand Lokayukta Act brings under its ambit the chief minister, ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats among others.

Taking on the Congress, Modi said be it the government in Delhi or Dehradun they are "detached" from people with absolutely no concern for them.