Bhubaneswar, Jan 4: The opposition Congress party Saturday demanded a public debate on the proposed Lokayukt bill that the Odisha government plans to enact in the state to tackle corruption.
The demand comes a day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced that a new Lokayukt Act would be enacted in the state in the next one month.
Former minister and senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik said such a Lokayukt Act had to be created within a year, as mandated by the Lokpal Act of the central government, and the state government had no choice in the matter.
“But before the bill is introduced on the floor of the assembly it should be placed in the public domain for informed debate on its provisions,” he said.
“In the past, the state has had a Lokpal but his findings were ignored. There is no point in having an institution called by a new name, Lokayukt, if it is to be just as powerless and toothless as the previous Lokpal,” he said.
“Therefore, there is a need for adequate public discussion on all provisions of the proposed legislation before the bill is passed in the state assembly,” the Congress leader said in a letter sent to the chief minister Saturday.