Kolkata: The state Assembly today passed the West Bengal Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2018 allowing immunity to the Chief Minister from being probed by the Lokayukta for corruption.
The Bill says that the Chief Minister has been given the immunity for the sake of “public order” which pertains to mainly police-related issues. This apart, the CM will also enjoy conditional immunity from the Lokayukta in 57 others areas.
In case of these 57 areas, the Lokayukta will be able to initiate a probe against the Chief Minister subject the clearance of the state Assembly by a two-thirds majority.
All the opposition parties ~ CPI-M, Congress, and BJP criticised the passage of the bill saying that Mamata Banerjee boasts of her “honesty” all the time and yet her government is providing her a shield from a probe by the Lokayukta.
Unfazed by this, Banerjee, who was present in the House, maintained she has mortgaged her credibility to the people of Bengal. “The day people would lose trust in me, I shall not cling onto power. Until then, I am hardly bothered what a handful of opposition leaders are saying.”
The Chief Minister announced that within 10 days of the Governor giving his assent to the West Bengal Lokayukta (Amendment) Bill, 2018, the state government will appoint the Lokayukta.