Kejriwal calls Goa's amended Lokayukta law 'stupid'

Panaji, Feb 8 (IANS) Anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal Friday launched a scathing attack on Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar calling his controversial amendments to the Lokayukta law "stupid".

Addressing a press conference, Kejriwal, founder of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), also wondered why Parrikar, whose image was that of an honest person, was looking to protect corrupt people.

"Manohar Parrikar is said to be an honest person. Why is he doing this? Why is he trying to protect corrupt people? What are the pressures on him? Is he giving a message that development is linked to corruption," said Kejriwal, asking people to outright reject the amended law.

"The BJP and the Parrikar government has cheated the people of Goa. His government's amendments are weakening the Goa Lokayukta act," he said, adding that the pre-poll promise made by the BJP to bring in a strict and strong Lokayukta had been betrayed after coming to power in March last year.

The bureaucrat-turned-crusader-turned-politician also said that post-amendments, the public ombudsman would serve as a "puppet" of the incumbent government and not punish, but protect the corrupt.

How can anyone expect a government, accused of corruption, to act against its own members on the basis of a Lokayukta recommendation, he asked.

"How stupid can it be," Kejriwal said.

He also called another controversial amendment, a three-month deemed rejection clause, as a first in history.

"If the Goa government does not accept the decision of the Lokayukta for three months, then it is deemed rejected. Anywhere else, it is a case of being deemed accepted," Kejriwal said, adding that the clause would enable a corrupt government to close ranks behind a corrupt minister and ignore the public ombudsman's verdict for three months, before conveniently setting it aside.

Parrikar has come under severe pressure from civil society over the amendments made to the public ombudsman law during the assembly session earlier this month.

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