Govt downplays row over Ordinance for Nripendra Misra`s appointment

The Government on Thursday downplayed promulgation of an Ordinance to amend a law to pave the way for appointment of former TRAI chairman Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and attacked Congress for raking up the issue.

PTI| Last Updated: May 29, 2014, 16:55 PM IST

New Delhi: The Government on Thursday downplayed promulgation of an Ordinance to amend a law to pave the way for appointment of former TRAI chairman Nripendra Misra as Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and attacked Congress for raking up the issue.

"There is no issue at all... There is no controversy at all... My friends in the opposition do not have any other issue to rake up," Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here.
He was responding when referred to the questions raised by Congress over the Ordinance route taken by the Modi government to appoint Misra as the earlier TRAI Act would have barred him from taking up the key post.

Contending that the earlier law had a "lacuna", Naidu said Misra was appointed on the basis of his competence and track record.
He said the ordinance promulgated yesterday will be given the shape of a bill before Parliament in stipulated time.

The TRAI Act of 1997 prohibits its Chairman and members from taking up any job in the central or state governments after demitting office.

To circumvent this which would have barred Misra from taking up the assignment of Principal Secretary to PM, the Modi government promulgated an Ordinance amending it on Tuesday.

Attacking this decision, Congress leader Manish Tewari asked what was the "urgency" of bringing an Ordinance for his appointment when Parliament was scheduled to meet on June 4.

"Now with Parliament scheduled to meet on June 4, there was no immediacy which necessitated that the ordinance route should be taken," he said.

Responding to a question on directives issued to ministries against appointing kin of ministers in personal staff, Naidu said certain code of conduct already exist in this regard. "It was compiled for the new ministers and circulated," he said.