New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in Lok
Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday met President Pratibha Patil to
register BJP`s protest on the appointment of Telecom Secretary
P J Thomas as Central Vigilance Commissioner despite a dissent
note from her.
Sources said Swaraj apprised the President about the
manner in which Thomas was chosen despite strong disagreement
voiced by her at the meeting of the appointing panel which
included the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, besides the
The principal opposition, which had termed the
appointment as "scandalous", today boycotted the swearing-in
ceremony of the new CVC. Thomas, it had alleged, was earlier
embroiled in a Palm oil scam. He was later given a clean chit.
President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office to the 1973 batch Indian Administrative Service officer of Kerala cadre at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Thomas succeeded Pratyush Sinha, a 1969 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, who demitted office Monday after a four-year tenure as the CVC.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar were among those present at the ceremony.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told a TV channel that BJP’s boycott of the swearing-in was unfortunate. “In a democracy you do have a right to express your opinion. But when the govt of the day takes a decision then you must back it and not lampoon an institution like CVC,” he said.
"It is unfortunate. A post like CVC should not be brought
into controversy, especially by a leader of the main
opposition party," party spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed said.
Yesterday, the BJP had appealed to the President not
to sign the appointment letter of Thomas.
As per the rules, the CVC is chosen by a panel
comprising the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Leader of
Though the government had presented a panel of three
names, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P
Chidambaram reportedly insisted that Thomas should be chosen.
In an interaction with the press yesterday, Swaraj had
said that she told Singh and Chidambaram that since they had
chosen the panel, she should be "given the liberty to choose
"When they did not agree I told them that I am not
blacklisting Thomas and if the government wants it can reward
him with some other post but not CVC," Swaraj said.
She further maintained that her suggestion to enlarge
the three-member panel to include more probable candidates
was also turned down by the government.
"The PM and Home Minister also insisted that the
decision has to be made today when I requested them to defer
the decision," Swaraj said.