‘Cosmetic surgery' cannot root out corruption: Dasgupta

While supporting a strong and effective Lokpal to combat corruption, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Tuesday said it should be accountable to both Parliament and the Supreme Court.

But “we are making an institution which will not have any accountability. We don't want such an institution. That's why we raised [the point] at the all-party meeting that Lokpal should be accountable,” party leader Basudeb Acharia said, participating in the Lok Sabha debate on the Lokpal Bill.

Alleging that the Central Bureau of Investigation was being “misused” for political purposes, Mr. Acharia did not favour giving it complete autonomy. “It is because CBI should be accountable to somebody.” He said corporate houses should also be brought within the ambit of the Lokpal, in the wake of allegations of favours being doled out to them by government agencies.

“We have seen how our mineral wealth like iron ore and other resources has been plundered.” This was because of the neo-liberal policy pursued by the government for the last two decades. “I would like to know whether Lokpal will also enquire into this aspect of corruption which is happening in our country,” Mr. Acharia said.

CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta was more strident in his criticism, terming the Lokpal Bill “cosmetic surgery,” when what was needed was radical surgery to root out corruption that had infected “every limb of the state apparatus.”

In an oblique reference to social activist Anna Hazare, who began his three-day fast on the Lokpal issue in Mumbai on Tuesday, Mr. Dasgupta said an individual or a group of individuals was being given “too much importance.” This was sending a message of panic to the common man.

Emphasising the need for a “prolonged battle” against the “all-pervasive menace of corruption,” the CPI leader questioned the government's “sudden awakening” against it at this juncture.

Mr. Dasgupta said the fight against corruption had to be carried on without being overcharged and by upholding and protecting the sovereignty of Parliament

More In: National | News