DMK Working President M K Stalin on Saturday said his party will approach the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the state government to set up Lokayukta if the AIADMK regime failed to constitute the anti-graft body without delay. Giving a virtual ultimatum to the state government, Stalin said, “Lokayukta is very important to probe corruption allegations. Hence without any further delay, I urge Chief Minister K Palaniswami to set up Lokayukta.”
“If they fail to set up Lokayukta, we will file a petition in the High Court seking constitution of the anti-corruption body,” he said in a statement here. Recalling corruption allegations against the AIADMK government including Gutkha scam, he said against such a background of graft charges it made it imperative for the state government to set up the Lokayukta.
The Guktha scam involves allegedly a minister and officials including a senior State police officer. It relates to alleged payout made by an illegal gutkha manufacturer to the minister and others. An income tax raid last year in the premises of the gutkha firm here had led to “unearthing” of some documents which pointed to such alleged payments.
While a vigilance inquiry is on into the matter, the Madras High Court Bench had yesterday ordered appointment of “an upright officer” within two weeks as the state vigilance commissioner to monitor the ongoing inquiry by the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption into the gutkha scam. In view of such corruption allegations against the government, Stalin, who is also the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, claimed that “there were no job opportunities and industrial growth.”
Claiming that investments were going to “other states,” he said Tamil Nadu was struggling without any constructive steps to strengthen infrastructure. After retaining power for the second consecutive term in last year’s assembly polls, the AIADMK government had articulated its position on Lokayukta in the governor’s address that year (2016).
The then Governor K Rosaiah had said the government was committed to improving transparency and would establish Lokayukta once the proposed amendments to the Lokpal Act were made by Parliament.