PM shouldn’t be under Lokpal: Rahul Gandhi


Bhubaneswar : Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Thursday said that the prime minister should not come under the purview of the Lokpal while he is in office as this would be unhealthy for the country’s leadership.

Support TwoCircles

“If you impose the Lokpal bill on the prime minister while he is in office, you open him up to the constant engagement which would be unhealthy for the leadership of the country,” the Congress MP told reporters here.

Citing it as his personal view, Gandhi said: “The prime minister needs to lead the country. While a prime minister is running this country, he needs to have a focus on running this country.”

The reaction came at a time when the government led by his party is making efforts to evolve a consensus among political parties on the issue.

“The prime minister must come under the bill, in my view, but the day he gives up the office,” he said.

About his stand on the $12 billion Posco project in Orissa, he said: “My issue on the Posco is the same as my issue on Bhatta Parsaul.”

“What is happening in Uttar Pradesh is the transfer of land from poor people to rich people. As far as infrastructure is concerned…we do not have a problem with that. We have a problem with the compensation level,” he said.

“We have a problem with the terms under which that is being done. But in principle we don’t have a problem with infrastructure development,” he said. “Our main issue is what the people are going to get at the end of this. Are they going to be rehabilitated in the company?”

He said the centre had raised 30 points on Posco project which have to be fulfilled by the state government.

“If the state government fulfils those 30 point programme and we feel that the tribals are comfortable, happy with the outcome, that is good. If the tribals are pushed aside… we have a problem with that,” he said.

“Poor people of this country deserve to have a place in development. What we are against is the pushing aside of poor people because they are poor” he said.

Referring to Wednesday’s terror attack in Mumbai, Gandhi said the response of the government was prompt. He also said that 99 percent of the terror attacks had been halted in the country due to improved intelligence and other measures.