AGARTALA, Dec 17 – Picking holes in Tripura Lokayukta Act, Opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath on Saturday alleged that the appointment of Justice (Retd) PK Sarkar as Lokayukta was yet another step to safeguard corruption and malpractices in the Marxist-ruled Tripura.
Under the Act, the Lokayukta could not undertake investigation against the Chief Minister without approval by majority members of the Assembly which means it (Lokayukta) would not work independently, said Nath while addressing a press conference here.
“The Chief Minister will take the decision whether the Lokayukta can initiate probe against any Minister after receiving corruption complaint”, he said.
Expressing surprise at barring the entire bureaucracy right from Chief Secretary to Director to employees and Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council from the ambit of the Act, Nath said “The Act is nothing but eyewash of the CPM- led Left Front Government to cover up the corruption that has been legalised under the regime of Manik Sarkar”.
Asserting that corruption has become the single biggest challenge in the Marxist-ruled Tripura, Nath said that the suggestions of Left Front allies like RSP, CPI and two opposition parties – Congress and Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) were ignored while formulating the Act.
Nath also pointed out finger at the provision for the appointment of the Lokayukta. “The Lokayukta must be appointed after consultation with the Chief Justice of High Court instead of political choice”, he said.
Branding Justice Sarkar, the first Lokayukta of the State as a CPM cadre, Nath said “He has neither high integrity nor has he prominence to assume such a high-profile post. Justice Sarkar’s appointment is nothing but a desperate attempt of the CPM in establishing party raj in Tripura”.
He further demanded resignation of the Lokayukta to pave the way for the most deserving candidate for the post. It may be noted that Justice (Retd) Sarkar was administered oath of office and secrecy by Governor Dr DY Patil at a simple ceremony in Raj Bhavan here on Friday.