No deal with Congress on Lokayukta, says Mamata (Lead)January 3rd, 2012 - 8:32 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Jan 3 (IANS) Denying any deal with the Congress on the issue of Lokayukta in the Lokpal bill, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday said she felt that the state ombudsman should remain a prerogative of the states.
“Some news channels were saying that there was a deal with the Congress regarding the Lokayukta in the Lokpal bill. But I want to say that there was no such deal. I don’t believe in deals. I believe in transparent politics,” said Banerjee while addressing mediapersons here.
“We have clearly stated that Lokpal is the matter of the centre and Lokayukta is a matter of the state. The states should decide on the issue of Lokayukta. When our MPs protested in the Lok Sabha, they were told that an amendment would be done so that the states don’t face any problem,” she said.
The amendment said that those states which did not want a Lokayukta could opt out. But if any state wanted a Lokayukta, then it had to follow the model given in the central bill, she said.
“Why will we follow that model? I can make a better model. I had spoken in favour of all the states and the federal structure of the country,” said Banerjee.
“I think that Lokpal should be made in a good way and if necessary all the parties should be brought together for consensus and I believe it can be done as most of the political parties are in favour of Lokpal,” she said.
“The issue of Lokayukta should be handed over to the states and the model should be decided by the states and not by the centre,” said Banerjee.
The Trinamool supported the passage of the Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha but made a dramatic volte face just before the bill was to be moved in the Rajya Sabha by demanding removal from the Lokpal bill a provision empowering the centre to set up Lokayuktas for the states.
Banerjee cited a few central laws which were clashing with the interest of the states.
“There are certain laws such as right to education. The law says that no child can be detained till Class 8. My question is how will the parents know how much progress their child is making. As it was a central law, we also had to abide by it but we had said that there will be exam although there will be no detention of students till Class 8,” said Banerjee.
“We have never abused Sonia-ji or Manmohan Singh-ji but we speak out on certain political issues which concern common man. Let the centre bring the Lokpal bill and the state governments decide on the Lokayukta,” she said.
When asked about frequent clashes with the centre on various issues starting from Teesta tretay with Bangladesh to Lokpal, Banerjee said: “No, the matter is not like that.”
On the controversy over the Teesta river water sharing treaty with Bangladesh, she said that she had not been shown the draft of the treaty and the agreement was not in the interest of West Bengal.
The treaty for water sharing of Teesta river, which flows from north Bengal into Bangladesh, could not be clinched during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Sep 6-7 visit to Dhaka due to Banerjee’s opposition.
“The problem with Teesta water sharing was that they (centre) did not pay heed to our opinion and suggestion. They had doubled the amount of water (to be shared) than the agreed amount. If we had agreed with that, then north Bengal would have turned into a desert due to lack of water. So we disagreed with that,” she said.
The government was recently forced to put on hold its decision on allowing 51 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail after the Trinamool opposed the decision.
On the FDI controversy, she said: “We oppose FDI in retail but this is not that we are saying it today. Earlier also, in our party manifesto we clearly mentioned it.”
“We joined the UPA after stating our stand on each and every issue. More than 50 crore people of the country are involved in retail and small trade. If their livelihood is at stake, then it is an imminent danger for the country,” said Banerjee.
- Trinamool to oppose UPA's anti-people policies in parliament - Feb 29, 2012
- No deal with Congress on Lokayukta, says Mamata - Jan 03, 2012
- Congress playing with fire: Trinamool - Jan 02, 2012
- UPA wobbles, Mamata says Congress colluding with Left (Roundup) - Jan 03, 2012
- Mamata trying to acquire all-India stature? - Dec 30, 2011
- A Bangladeshi invite for Mamata: Will she go? - Feb 20, 2012
- Mathai meets Mamata, says talks positive - Feb 18, 2012
- Increase coordination with UPA partners, Mamata tells Congress - Jul 18, 2012
- Hillary, Mamata likely to discuss FDI, Teesta treaty - May 05, 2012
- US to invest in Bengal as 'partner state': Mamata (Lead) - May 07, 2012
- Mamata to discuss NCTC, Teesta pact with PM Wednesday - Feb 21, 2012
- Bangladeshi diplomat confident about Teesta water pact - Dec 16, 2011
- Dhaka, Delhi to exchange Teesta river data - Sep 30, 2011
- Experts committee formed on Teesta: Mamata - Nov 16, 2011
- Mamata's not going to Dhaka a gimmick: Left - Sep 05, 2011
Tags: chief minister, congress, consensus, education, favour, federal structure, Lok Sabha, lokayukta, lokpal bill, mamata banerjee, mps, news channels, political parties, prerogative, provision, rajya sabha, state ombudsman, volte face, west bengal