Listing out a six-point agenda to strengthen the administrative and legal framework to deal with corruption, Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday said the Congress has reversed its earlier stand of bringing the Prime Minister under the purview of lokpal.
“The CPM holds that along with a law for setting up an independent lokpal, simultaneous measures to strengthen the legal and administrative framework against corruption are required,” party general secretary Prakash Karat said.
The other measures suggested, include a law to protect citizens charter for redressal of public grievances, amendment of Article 105 of the Constitution to bring MPs under anti-corruption scrutiny, and electoral reforms to check money power in polls. The party also pitched for Lokayuktas and steps to unearth black money. Karat said that the lokpal should not include any politician or a member from the filed of commerce and industry.
“Since the 1989 VP Singh government, four bills were brought on lokpal. Also in 1996, 1998 and 2001. All of them provided for placing the PM under the lokpal. It is surprising that the UPA government is refusing to accept this,” Karat said.
Maintaining that all the four bills were brought during non-Congress governments, he said a Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee “had made precisely this point” while examining the 2001 lokpal bill that the PM should be included.
“What has changed since then? Is it because under the UPA government, so many scams are taking place? They will have to tell us why they had agreed to bring PM under the lokpal purview earlier,” Karat said. He said Left parties “insist” that the Prime Minister should be included as after all the PM was “not immune to the Prevention of Corruption Act”. He, however, said there should be “adequate safeguards” regarding how the complaints against the PM should be dealt with.
Karat said that the Left parties would attend the all-party meeting on the issue on Sunday.