Khurshid downplays Advani`s demand on collegium

Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday downplayed the demand of LK Advani to set up a collegium system to appoint Election Commissioners.

New Delhi: Law Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday downplayed the demand of LK Advani to set up a collegium system to appoint Election Commissioners, saying since the BJP leader has written to the Prime Minister, he can only take a call on the issue.

The Law Minister also took a dig at Advani, saying that during NDA`s tenure the then Home Minister must have appointed four to five ECs. "Has he reconsidered that the decision (to appoint ECs during his tenure) was not correct before writing to the Prime Minister," he said.

Underplaying the letter, he said since it is addressed to the Prime Minister, "I am sure he will take a view and convey it to Advani...I cannot convey anything to the media."

Advani`s suggestion for a collegium to appoint Election Commissioners and CAG has received the backing of UPA ally DMK and opposition CPI(M).

DMK chief M Karunanidhi said the BJP leader`s views could not be ignored and expressed confidence that the Centre would accord due importance to it.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri has said that his party agreed with Advani that there should be a collegium for appointments of Election Commissioners and CAG on the pattern of Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

Advani had in a letter to the Prime Minister on Sunday voiced concern over the present system of appointment by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

He had suggested that posts like Election Commissioner and Comptroller and Auditor General of India be appointed by a "broad-based collegium," comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, the Law minister and the Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

PTI

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