Ex-CAG Vinod Rai says will remain in public life sans politics

Having created a flutter in political space -- first with his audit reports and now with a tell-all book, former CAG Vinod Rai says he does not want to enter electoral politics but would remain in "public space".

PTI| Updated: Sep 21, 2014, 12:55 PM IST

New Delhi: Having created a flutter in political space -- first with his audit reports and now with a tell-all book, former CAG Vinod Rai says he does not want to enter electoral politics but would remain in "public space".

Rai, who served as the country's apex auditor from 2008-13, also said he would decide on penning a second book or a sequel only after seeing response to his just-released 'Not Just An Accountant'.

Emphasising that he never expected to be a hero or a villain, either with the book or with audit reports, the former Comptroller and Auditor General said that nobody is "a hero in the eyes of everybody" except for in films.

In an interview to PTI, Rai asserted that he never had political leanings and he does not see himself as cut out to be in the hurly burly of politics.

"Everybody has his own, you know, core competence if I can say. Mine, certainly, is not electoral politics... To the best of my capability, feeling, I don't think I will enter politics," Rai said.

When asked about his next action plan of action, Rai said that he expects to take a decision in a month's time.

"I want to remain in public space. I have got 40 years of experience. So if anybody requires my guidance, I would only be happy to provide but that space and that guidance I don't see for myself in the political arena," he said.

Further, Rai said that he would not set up an NGO or join any NGO. "I will remain by myself and if anybody in any capacity wants me to do something, I am fine," he added.

Rai's book, which touches upon his tenure as CAG as well as the role of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, has sparked off a political firestorm especially about the actions taken during the previous UPA regime.

According to him, there was no intention of writing the book when he retired in May last year but made the decision after seeing the "very incorrect" picture painted about CAG in the public.

Acknowledging that he did expect virulent reactions to his book, Rai said, "I was also conscious of the fact that whoever speaks up, they speak through coloured glasses.

"So I wasn't worried about that. They have attacked me in the past and they would continue to do it," he added.

Elaborating on his decision to pen down his thoughts, Rai said he said the objective was to examine government functioning from the point of view of transparency.

"I noticed that within the country, the innuendos and statements of very senior personalities on the institution of CAG was not dying down and a very incorrect picture was being given. When this picture was given, lots of my colleagues and good friends, then suggested to me that on some of these issues I need to put the record straight.

"... Hence, I felt that I must write in very simple language about some of the major issues which have caught the public imagination and put it out in public domain for the younger generation," Rai said.