Undaunted by Team Anna’s adverse remarks, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday advised anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal to practise restraint before making an observation on any issue.
Kumar, who is on his four-day sewa yatra (journey for service) to West Champaran district, nearly 200 km from Patna, was reacting to Kejriwal’s statement that dubbed Bihar’s lokayukta bill as a copy of the central government’s draft lokpal bill, against which social activist Anna Hazare sat on a fast.
“He should maintain restraint. Kejriwal seems to have acquired the habit of passing remarks. Everyone should stay within limits, and respect the offices of others. We’re not in the habit of taking dictation. I don’t need any certificate from them,” Kumar said in Bettiah, 120 km northwest of Patna.
The chief minister said he had never made any promise on the bill to Team Anna when it had called on him earlier this year to seek support for the Jan Lokpal Bill.
“I had never given any word to Team Anna about the outline of the Bihar lokayukta bill. If at all I have given any promise to anybody in the fight against corruption, it is to the people of Bihar, to whom I am accountable,” Kumar said.
Kejriwal on Wednesday, while welcoming Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s views that the government was committed to a stringent lokpal bill, had hoped the UPA would honour her commitment and pass the anti-corruption law in Parliament’s winter session.
“We sincerely wish Nitish Kumar brings a strong lokayukta bill on the lines of (the one in) Uttarakhand,” he had said. Team Anna praised the Uttarakhand bill, which covers the lower judiciary in addition to senior officers, and said it was identical to their Jan lokpal bill.
The Bihar cabinet on Tuesday approved the draft lokayukta bill, to be introduced in the assembly in the winter session. It is supposed to give more teeth to the lokayukta and bring the chief minister, ministers, MLAs and officers in its ambit.
The government has invited views from people till November 22 and convened an all-party meeting on November 26 to discuss the suggestions.
A three-member committee under the chairmanship of deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi has been formed to discuss the suggestions before the bill is put before the assembly.