Government stand on CVC questions its anti-corruption stance: BJP

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday accused the government of “unabashedly defending a tainted chief vigilance commissioner (CVC)”, saying that it raises serious questions about Congress’s avowed stance to fight corruption.

Party spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad referred to the union government’s stance in the Supreme Court Monday over appointment of P.J. Thomas as CVC and sought reply from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the government’s “aggressive defence” of his appointment.

“A curious situation has arisen that the government is unabashedly trying to defend a tainted CVC and is unleashing an aggressive attack on the CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General). In the process, credibility of both these institutions is getting damaged,” Prasad said.

The BJP spokesman said the government does not do its homework properly and referred to an office memorandum of the department of personnel and training regarding promotion of government servants against whom disciplinary or court proceedings were pending.

“If there were restrictions in case of simple officials, the same provisions should be applicable in the case of CVC also,” he said.

He said Thomas was an accused in the Kerala palmolein import case.

Prasad said the prime minister should tell that if due diligence is to be followed even in small appointments, why this was not the case in appointment of the CVC who acts as watchdog against corruption.

Referring to party leader Sushma Swaraj’s objections to the appointment of Thomas as CVC, he said the prime minister should explain his “compulsion in defending a tainted CVC”.

Referring to the five points Congress president Sonia Gandhi gave to partymen at the party plenary last month to fight corruption, Prasad said she made no point about the appointment of CVC.

The central government Monday defended the appointment of Thomas as CVC. In its affidavit to the Supreme Court, the government said that Thomas was an “outstanding civil servant of impeccable integrity” and “fully eligible to be the CVC as per the CVC Act” and that the law did not require consensus on the appointment.

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