New Delhi: Congress on Saturday hit out at I&B Minister Arun Jaitley for making government's "problems with Censor Board into UPA versus NDA issue" and asked what stopped it from sacking the Board members over the last eight months if it felt that the appointments were politicised.
After nine members put in their papers protesting alleged government interference, Jaitley today rejected the charge saying "it is regrettable that the UPA appointees have decided to politicise routine issues".
"Well it is extremely unfortunate and regrettable that the Finance Minister has sought to politicise their problems with the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) and turn it into a UPA vs NDA issue," party leader and former I and B Minister Manish Tewari said reacting to remarks by Jaitley, who also holds the Finance portfolio.
"The fact is, if the Finance Minister believed that the UPA had politicised these appointments, they should have sacked the board right away, why wait eight months for them to resign," he said.
Tewari said that Jaitley's charge was nothing but an "excuse for their own incompetence".
"They have not been able to have a working relationship with the Board and therefore they are now trying to put the blame and the responsibility on the shoulders of the UPA," he said.
He said that the fact is that if the government had thought that UPA had done something wrong, there is nothing which stopped it from sacking the Board or replacing the members.
"So, this is completely hocus-pocus and it is an attempt to deflect attention from their own incompetence," he said.
Tewari's reaction came as Jaitley insisted that government maintains an arms length in all matters relating to film certification and charged the members with politicising the issue.
Censor Board Chairperson Leela Samson and some other members have resigned amid a controversy over clearance to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's film "Messenger of God".