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'Centre in favour of enacting model Lokayukta law'

Maharashtra,Immigration/Law/Rights,Politics, Thu, 26 Apr 2012 IANS

Mumbai, April 26 (IANS) The central government is in favour of enacting a model law of Lokayukta so that all states can adopt their own act according to it, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said Thursday.


Chavan's comments came after his hour-long meeting with social activist Anna Hazare, who is on a two-day trip to Mumbai, where he will meet the heads of all political parties to evolve a consensus on the issue of Lokayukta.


"I have written to centre to enact a model law of Lokayukta so that all states can adopt their own act as per the model law. The centre is in favour of this proposal," he said.


"However, if the model law also does not come out, we will begin the process of enacting a strong Lokayukta here," he said.


Chavan, however said that Hazare's tour of 35 districts of the state beginning from May 1 is a mass awareness campaign and not an agitation against government.


"Anna is trying to build a consensus about stern measures to curb corruption," he said.


Chavan said he would discuss the issue with the Union law minister Salman Khurshid during his next visit to Delhi.


"Anna requested me to enact a strong Lokayukta Act as the present one is toothless. According to him the existing provisions are only recommendatory and not obligatory," Chavan told reporters here after his meeting with Hazare.


"We broadly agree with him and feel that a strong anti corruption law is necessary," he added.


Chavan said that the state government is in the process of conducting comparative studies of Lokayukta Acts of various states and that a decision on enacting the same will be taken only if its provisions are not included in the Centre's Lokpal Bill.


He said the Lokpal Bill was likely to be passed in the current session of parliament.


Describing his meeting with Hazare as cordial, Chavan said that he (Hazare) gave him another draft of his bill during the meeting Thursday and that the second draft will also be examined thoroughly.


As a precursor to the proposed state tour for a strong Lokayukta bill from May 1 to June 6, Hazare started his two-day consultations with all political parties Thursday.


Arriving here from Ralegan-Siddhi, Hazare met Republican Party of India chief Ramdas Athawale Wednesday night.


After meeting Chavan, Hazare also met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray, who welcomed him and discussed on the Lokayukta legislation.


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