Kolkata: Denying any deal with the Congress on the issue of Lokayukta in the Lokpal bill, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday said she felt that the Lokayukta should remain a prerogative of the states.

“Some news channels were saying that there was a deal with the Congress regarding the Lokayukta in the Lokpal bill. But I want to say that there was no such deal. I don't believe in deals. I believe in transparent politics,” said Banerjee while addressing mediapersons.

“We have clearly stated that Lokpal is the matter of the centre and Lokayukta is a matter of the state. The states should decide on the issue of Lokayukta. When our MPs protested in the Lok Sabha, they were told that an amendment would be done so that the states don't face any problem,” she said.

The amendment said that those states which did not want a Lokayukta could opt out. But if any state wanted a Lokayukta, then it had to follow the model given in the central bill, she said.

“Why will we follow that model? I can make a better model. I had spoken in favour of all the states and the federal structure of the country,” said Banerjee.

“I think that Lokpal should be made in a good way and if necessary all the parties should be brought together for consensus and I believe it can be done,” she said.

“The issue of Lokayukta should be handed over to the states and the model should be decided by the states and not by the centre,” said Banerjee.
 
The Trinamool supported the passage of the Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha but made a dramatic volte face just before the bill was to be placed in the Rajya Sabha by demanding removal from the Lokpal bill a provision empowering the centre to set up Lokayuktas for the states.
 
Banerjee cited a few central laws which were clashing with the interest of the states.
 
“There are certain laws such as right to education. The law says that no child can be detained till Class 8. My question is how the parents will know how much progress their child is making. As it was a central law, we also had to abide by it but we had said that there will be exam although there will be no detention of students till Class 8,” said Banerjee.
 
“We have never abused Sonia-ji or Manmohan Singh-ji but we speak out on certain political issues which concern common man. Let the centre bring the Lokpal bill and the state governments decide on the Lokayukta,” she said.

(Agencies)