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Lalu Yadav opposes inclusion of PM under Lokpal ambit

December 31, 2011 - New Delhi

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday reiterated his demand for the exclusion of the Prime Minister from the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.

Yadav said that if the Prime Minister is in the appointment committee of the Lokpal then he should not be challenged by the ombudsman.

"If the Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice of India (CJI) will appoint the Lokpal then why should the Prime Minister be included under the ambit of the institution of Lokpal (Ombudsman). If the PM is also in the appointing committee of the Lokpal, how can he be questioned?" he told the media on the sidelines of an event here.

"What I believe is that the Prime Minister of the country is not the Prime Minister, he is the leader of the country. There will cases against him one after the other," he added.

Yadav also claimed that the nature of Lokpal proposed by the government is not independent; it is rather controlled by the government.

"This is a weak Lokpal Bill. We have also put forth our amendments, for example, if the government talks about Lokpal's autonomy, why is under the control of the government itself? He should be given autonomy," he said.

Terming the Lokpal Bill drafted by the Centre to be a cut and paste bill, Lalu Prasad Yadav had earlier urged the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government not to do anything wrong in fear of agitation.

He had further demanded that the Prime Minister should be kept out of the ambit of Lokpal Bill, and advocated that the government should never bow to the pressure of including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the ambit of the anti-graft legislation.

The Lokpal Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday was taken up for a discussion and vote in Rajya Sabha. But after a marathon debate that stretched until midnight, the vote failed to take place.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die late night amid uproar created by several MPs, without voting on the bill.

The anti-graft legislation for which social activist Anna Hazare and his team have fomented a successful mass movement may now be taken up in the budget session of Parliament, probably in March.


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