Akhilesh against bringing chief minister’s post under Lokayukta

Lucknow, April 26: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav Thursday ruled out bringing the chief minister’s office within the ambit of the Lokayukta.

Talking to reporters after inaugurating a photo exhibition here, Akhilesh said while his Samajwadi Party (SP) was in favour of strengthening the institution of Lokayukta, it did not favour the chief minister coming under its purview.

“We had said always that if we are voted to power, we want to strengthen the Lokayukta institution but we are not in favour of bringing chief minister under Lokayukta,” he said.

Akhilesh’s statement would mean that the recommendation of the state Lokayukta, Justice (retd) N.K. Mehrotra, of including the chief minister under the ombudsman’s purview is not going to be implemented.

Mehrotra, who claimed almost two dozen ministers of the Mayawati government with his recommendations leading to their exit from the government, is supposed to be very close to the present dispensation, especially SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav.

It was Mulayam Singh had appointed him to the post in 2006 during his term as chief minister and after the end of his term this year, got him an extension for two years.

In his letter dated March 15, Mehrotra had written to the chief minister seeking more teeth to the act and powers vested under it. The letter had been sent after the new Samajwadi Party (SP) government had sought suggestions from the Lokayukta on how to further strengthen it and fight graft in the state.

Other than the chief minister, the Lokayukta had also called for the inclusion of gram pradhans (village headmen), universities, government-aided colleges, NGOs, trusts, societies and medical institutions under its ambit.

The Lokayukta had also asked for a probe agency under it as well as powers to file an FIR against those found indulging in corrupt practices.

IANS