New Delhi: BJP on Thursday accused the government
and Congress of making "baseless allegations" against
constitutional institutions like CAG which are working to
ensure accountability and transparency and asked the party to
clarify its stand on the issue.
"The Congress party has levelled baseless allegations
against Constitutional institutions.... The government is
attacking the CAG as it is facing the brunt of the reports.
Government has a problem with institutions working for
transparency and accountability," senior BJP leader Murli
Manohar Joshi told reporters here.
He insisted the powers of the CAG include holding press
conferences to discuss the main features of his report and
make them public.
"It is his (CAG`s) duty. A Congress leader called CAG an
accountant. He is somebody who has been a member of the
PAC and so this has been said deliberately. Congress
spokesperson Manish Tewari said CAG peeps, leaks and squeaks.
This is not acceptable," Joshi said.
He alleged it was the government which was leaking CAG
reports before they are tabled in Parliament.
"CAG does not peep. It does not leak reports. They are
leaked by you. What benefit will CAG get by leaking his report
when it has to come to Parliament and has to be made public"?
BJP maintained that as the rights and duties of CAG were
clearly stated in Article 149, 150 and 151 of the
Constitution, there was "no dilemma, confusion or ambiguity"
in this regard.
"CAG does not have just the right to do financial audit
of the government. CAG is not a chartered accountant. He also
conducts the compliance and performance audits," Joshi said.
He said UPA-I government had said performance audit can
be done by CAG.
"But now a minister of this government is saying he
cannot do it," he said.
Joshi alleged the government was trying to scuttle
democracy by refusing to be accountable.
"The Congress should clarify if it agrees with the
statement of its spokesperson and, if not, then make it clear
as to what action it is going to take," Joshi said.
The PAC Chairman said institutions like PAC and CAG were
there to clean the Augean stables of the government.
"CAG has these rights. Government should learn to
respect the constitutional bodies," he said.
The former union minister recalled that on a recent
trip to Vietnam, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said
India was fortified with institutions like PAC and CAG which
ensure tranparency in democracy.
Joshi rued that while this was the stand of the UPA
government abroad, at home it was challenging these very