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Lokayukta Criticism stings BJP

Bowing to pressure from civil society, troche the BJP has promised a rethink on a controversial amendment to Goa’s Lokayukta law, with a senior leader admitting that public outcry against the Rs 1 million fine provision would be heeded.

“Considering the public opinion on the fine issue, cost we will speak to the government to give it a rethink,” party spokesperson Narendra Savoikar told reporters at a press conference at the party headquarters on Tuesday.

The amendment called for a fine of up to Rs 1 million imposed on complainants for making false and frivolous complaints to the Lokayukta.

The party has, however, refused to reconsider other controversial amendments to the Lokayukta law passed in the state legislature last week. Civil society activists have called the amendments draconian.

They allow for declarations of the Lokayukta to lapse if the chief minister’s office does not acknowledge them within three months. Another amendment allows ministers indicted for corruption to hang on to their posts instead of making their resignation mandatory.

“The other amendments are in the best interests of the state and there is no question of a rethink on them,” Savoikar said.