Cong slams BJP for `running commentary` on CVC appointment

Congress came down heavily on BJP for its "running commentary" against the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner PJ Thomas.

New Delhi: Congress on Monday came down heavily on BJP for its "running commentary" against the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas and questioned why the NDA government did not give sanction for his prosecution in the Palmolein case when it was in power at the Centre.

Party spokesperson Manish Tewari at the same time made it clear that he was "not holding brief for any body" nor "going into merits" of the case.
"Kerala government had sought prosecution sanction from the Cetnre against Thomas in December 1999. It was NDA government at the Centre. If the case against Thomas was so strong, will the BJP tell why did it not grant sanction against him from December 1999 to May 2004 when they were in the government," Tewari told reporters here.
He also questioned the Left over the issue asking why their government in Kerala appointed him Chief Secretary of the state in 2007 when it had earlier sought the Centre`s permission to prosecute Thomas.

"This is an issue before the court. The government or a committee of the government has appointed the CVC. A few persons have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the appointment.

"The government has also presented its position in the matter before the court. Whatever the Supreme Court will decide will be acceptable to all. My objection is that BJP is giving a running commentary on the issue since last one month, when the case is in the court...we do not want to go into the merit of the case unlike BJP as we respect the Supreme Court," Tewari said.

The party`s reaction came on a day when Home Minister P Chidambaram said the Selection Committee meeting to choose the CVC in September last year did discuss the issue of Palmolein case against Thomas, but parried a question whether a "chargesheeted" person should have been appointed.

The Congress spokesperson also dismissed suggestions that Chidambaram`s acceptance that the case was discussed in the meeting as pointed out earlier by BJP leader Sushma Swaraj amounted to contradicting the statement of the Attorney General in the Supreme Court.

"Anybody who has heard the Home Minister`s reply can see that he threw light on what ostensibly was discussed in the meeting and he also clarified regarding submission of the AG. After such a holistic elaboration, I dint think that it should be further extrapolated," Tewari said.

Chidamabram today said, "It was never stated (by the AG) that there was no discussion on the case against Thomas."