Facing stiff competition from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plans to promise a strong Lokayukta in its manifesto for the Delhi Assembly elections.
By proposing a stronger Lokayukta, the party is trying to highlight the corruption issue which Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP has also made one of its main election planks.
Senior BJP leaders said while they had made a number of complaints to the Lokayukta, which had even indicted chief minister Sheila Dikshit, nothing had happened as the current corruption watchdog is toothless.
“The Delhi Lokayukta is an old and toothless tiger. Delhi deserves to have a new and stronger Lokayukta Act, which can mitigate corruption and work for transparency in public life and high public offices,” said a senior BJP leader.
According to sources, the proposed Lokayukta would have superintendence over investigation and prosecution and will be able to give directions to the investigating authority.
“The present Lokayukta is not even entitled to conduct an investigation let alone have superintendence over it,” said a senior BJP leader.
According to sources, BJP leader Aman Sinha, who had played a crucial role in drafting the Uttarkhand Lokayukta, inviting praise from anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, is part of the team framing the guidelines for the Delhi Lokayukta.
For a stronger Act, the party has proposed to give the Lokayukta powers to enquire into complaints suo motu, unlike in the present one that can only enquire into complaints referred to it.
“The BJP is ensuring that under the proposed Lokayukta, which will be implemented once the party comes to power, property of public functionaries can be attached to recover public money. For instance, the chief minister did not pay up the R11 crore as was directed by the Lokayukta,” said another leader.
The party is setting up an accountability commission for investigating the alleged scams that have taken place in the past 15 years.