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PM should not come under Lokpal purview: Rahul Gandhi

Bhubaneswar: The office of the prime minister should not come under the purview of the Lokpal while he is in office, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said here Thursday.

“If you impose the Lokpal bill on 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 bring 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.

Replying to a question on terrorism, the Congress leader said that 99 percent of the terror attacks had been stopped in the country, thanks to various measures, including improved intelligence.

Addressing the press conference, a day after serial bombings in Mumbai killed at least 17 people and left more than 130 injured, Gandhi also called for efforts to stop terrorist attacks in the country.

“I don’t say it is impossible… it is very difficult to stop any single terrorist attack,” he said, adding that 99 percent of the attacks have been stopped. “We must stop 100 percent attack.”

Referring to Wednesday’s attack, Gandhi said the response of the government was prompt. “We are responding to it in a quite organised fashion.”

Gandhi, the son of Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, is on a two-day visit to Orissa beginning Wednesday to strengthen the grassroots base of the party. He returns to New Delhi Thursday.

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