Senior BJP leader L K Advani on Monday said that his party is in favour of bringing Prime Minister within the ambit of Lokpal, noting that the 1998 and 2001 drafts prepared by NDA were clear on the issue.
In his latest blog posting, Advani said he had all along been in favour of keeping the Prime Minister within the purview of the Lokpal.
He said as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha in 1988 he had signed a dissent note with some other prominent MPs against a draft Lokpal Bill prepared by the Rajiv Gandhi government .
“In the course of our examination of the Lok Ayuktas’ functioning in the states we found that in several states, the Chief Ministers of those states also came within the purview of the Lok Ayukta. We have been strongly of the view that the office of the Prime Minister also should be similarly brought within the purview of the Lokpal,” the dissent note stated.
The senior BJP leader further states that the 1989 and 1996 drafts of the Lokpal Bill had the Prime Minister within the ambit of the ombudsman.
“The Lokpal Bills presented subsequently by NDA governments under Atal Bihari Vajpayee also covered the Prime Minister. I well remember that Atalji as PM was very insistent that the Prime Minister should not be kept out of the Lokpal’s jurisdiction,” Advani said.
The NDA had presented two Lokpal Bills- in 1998 and 2001. Both had the PM within the purview of the Lokpal.
Advani referred to yesterday’s all-party meeting on the Lokpal issue convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said it was “unique” and “without precedent” as never before have political parties been so unanimous in criticising the government for its handling of the issue.
He said almost all MPs present at the meeting endorsed the views of Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj that the manner in which government dealt with the issue and by-passed Parliament is “totally indefensible”. Economic Times