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After a decade, Guj gets Lokayukta

Retired Gujarat high court dudge DP Buch was on Wednesday sworn in as the state’s fourth Lokayukta, a post that lay vacant for a decade and over which chief minister Narendra Modi and governor Kamla Beniwal were on a collision course for three years.

Justice Buch(retd) was sworn in as the anti-corruption ombudsman at a function in Raj Bhavan by governor Beniwal in the presence of Modi and assembly speaker Vaju Vala.

The post had been lying vacant since the last incumbent justice RM Soni’s term expired in December 2003.

The appointment also came at a time when Modi, who is BJP prime ministerial candidate, was facing flak from Congress over the post lying vacant for a long time.

The Opposition party had said Modi had been repeatedly raising the issue of corruption under the Congress-led UPA government, but failed to appoint Lokayukta in his own state.
Justice Buch said he will act according to the law.

‘If the complaints are entertainable within the fixed categories (within the Lokayukta Act), then the complaints would be dealt with accordingly,’ he said.

‘However, if the complaint is beyond the purview of the law, the Lokayukta cannot act,’ he added. The Modi government, which had been at loggerheads with the governor since 2011 over the appointment of Lokayukta, on 27 November recommended justice Buch’s name to the post.

A major controversy erupted when the governor appointed justice (retd) RA Mehta as Lokayukta on 25 August, 2011, without consulting the state government.

This led to a long-drawn legal battle that reached the Supreme Court, which subsequently upheld the Governor’s decision.

Another twist came when justice Mehta declined to take charge of the office in August this year, citing the long legal battle over his appointment and ‘the government not accepting his objectivity and credibility.'

Guj ministers in UP to promote Run for Unity


Lucknow:
Ministers of Narendra Modi’s cabinet and senior BJP leaders from Gujarat are in Uttar Pradesh to mobilise support for statue of unity, touted as the world’s largest statue, who would lead Run for Unity on 15 December in the state capital. The prime objective of the run would be to ensure people to donate iron and steel for the construction of 182 metre  statue of Sardar Patel.
‘This is a campaign of unity, one of unification and aimed at bringing the entire nation together in the task of building the statue of unity,’ said Gujarat health minister Nitin Patel here on Wednesday.
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