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December 29, 2011

Trinamool asks for deleting Chapter 3 of Lokpal Bill at Rajya Sabha, opposes the Bill in this ground

Trinamool asks for deleting Chapter 3 of  Lokpal Bill  at Rajya Sabha, opposes the Bill in this ground

New Delhi `Delete Chapter 3 to its entirety`, asked Trinamool MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy in the Rajya Sabha Lokpal Bill debate, announces that `the Bill is opposed by Trinamool to this extent`. He critisized that the Lokayukta is not acceptable to the Trinamool and should be amended. Trinamool Congress  has given notice for four amendments to the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011, out of the 173 notices given by various parties. 

Opposing the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, Trinamool Congress made it clear that it will not support any ‘tampering’ with the federal structure of the country. The Trinamool MP Mr. Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said, “Many legal experts have already expressed their views before Standing Committee that bringing this Bill will be unconstitutional and anti federal.”

While addressing the Rajya Sabha Mr. Roy said that the Lokpal Bill in its current form will affect the autonomy of the state. He demanded that the clause related to the Lokayuktas in the Bill be deleted. Mr. Roy said if the image of the Chief Minister is affected then the image of the country is also affected. He further said that TMC has submitted many amendments and wanted deletion of many parts of the Bill. He said that the autonomy of states can’t be compromised at any cost.


Trinamool Congress went ahead with its amendment that asked for 14 pages of the Bill to be dropped on the grounds that they infringe upon the rights of states to form their own laws. This part of the Bill deals with how states should create Lokayuktas or anti-corruption agencies. Trinamool opposed the government on this clause.

“States’ autonomy is the guiding principle,” said Derek O’Brien, MP, who has given notice for the amendment on behalf of the Trinamool with two other MPs.

Union Finance Minister Mr. Pranab Mukherjee had been talking through the morning to Trinamool MPs in Delhi.

The part of the Bill that Trinamool has found fault with refers to the need for states to create anti-corruption agencies of Lokayuktas. These bodies are meant to be states’ version of the new Lokpal – a national ombudsman with nine members who will investigate politicians and civil servants for corruption. After fierce objection from Trinamool in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday night, the government amended the language of the Bill on Lokayuktas. Mr Mukherjee has reassured Trinamool that with the change that was introduced to the Bill in the Lok Sabha, states now have the option to create Lokayuktas.

The Trinamool Congress on Tuesday objected to the government’s anti-graft Lokpal Bill on the ground that it was encroaching on the federal structure of the constitution.

“Don’t undermine the rights of the state legislatures. Does the present legislation not take away the rights of the states?” Trinamool Congress MP Mr Kalyan Banerjee asked. He was participating in a debate in the Lok Sabha on the Lokpal Bill.


Mr. Banerjee said creation of Lok Ayuktas under Article 253 of the Constitution would make the central law mandatory for all states. This article provides for laws to give effect to international agreements and gives Parliament the power to make any law for the whole or any part of India.

The Trinamool MP also said that the bill had been brought and asked “why should it be passed within December 27? Is it because of hunger-strike by somebody? Dignity of the House should be maintained. No one can put it under pressure. It sends a wrong signal.”

Mr. Banerjee said “all steps” had to be taken to curb corruption in the country. “For that purpose, a bill is not sufficient,” he said. He said what the Lokpal Bill proposes to create is “nothing but creating a super-investigate agency”.


He also opposed the government’s move to bring in the legislation under pressure from anti-graft agitation.


“Parliament should not surrender to anybody,” Mr. Banerjee said.