Former Supreme Court Judge B Sudershan Reddy was today sworn-in as Goa’s first Lokayukta at Raj Bhavan amid protests by opposition parties who alleged that he was a "yes man" of the chief minister.
Reddy was administered the oath of secrecy by Goa Governor B V Wanchoo in the presence of State Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The opposition MLAs remained absent at the swearing-in ceremony.
"I am visiting Goa after 19 years. I don’t know a single individual here. I met the Governor and the Chief Minister for the first time," Reddy told reporters.
"I shall, to the best of my ability, serve Goa through judicial process of which I am part for the last 42 years," the former Supreme Court judge said adding he would take couple of weeks to start working.
Referring to the media, he said, "I am going to depend on you people for information in order to arrest, curb and erase menace of corruption in the state".
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who met the Lokayukta after the swearing-in ceremony also said that it was his first meeting with Reddy.
"I had not even seen his photograph earlier...It was yesterday that I saw his picture in newspapers," said Parrikar who has been accused of appointing his "Yes Man" on the Chair by the opposition parties.
Opposition leaders belonging to Congress and NCP protested on the road leading to Raj Bhavan, where the swearing-in ceremony took place.
Aires Rodrigues, spokesman of "Together for Goa", a front which objected to Reddy’s appointment, said that it was condemnable that such an appointment was made.
The protesters carried black flags and a big banner accusing Reddy of being a "Yes Man".
Although Congress did not formally boycott the swearing-in, Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane, who was on the committee that selected Reddy for the post, was not present at the ceremony.
Meanwhile Parrikar said that Reddy would function under the provisions of Goa Lokayukta Act, 2011, which was passed by the then Congress-led government.
The new Lokayukta Bill, 2013 passed by the assembly has yet not been notified as some of its provisions have attracted criticism.
Aam Admi Party founder Prashant Bhushan had met Parrikar stating that he would submit amendment to the bill passed by the assembly.
Parrikar had told Bhushan to give him the amended draft by March 10, but it was received later, when he was busy drafting the State budget.
"If the amendments suggested are not very complicated, then we can do it. But I am yet to go through it," the chief minister said, adding "If I am not doing it this time (budget session) that does not mean I won’t do it. We can do it later,".
AAP had objected to the provisions in the bill like hefty fine for false complaints and deemed rejection of lokayukta's report after expiry of three months among others.
B. Sudershan Reddy Sworn-In as Goa’s Lokayukta
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