Oppn seeks PM`s explanation on Thomas` appointment
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 03, 2011, 23:27
New Delhi: The opposition on Thursday mounted a strong attack on the government after the Supreme Court quashed the appointment of P J Thomas as CVC and asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to explain how the "mistake" was committed and who would take responsibility for it.

Opposition parties also asked the government to make a statement in Parliament considering the "serious" nature of the issue which has dealt "yet another blow to the credibility" of the UPA.

The issue was raised both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha soon after the Supreme Court struck down the controversial appointment of the CVC.

Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, "Serious strictures against the government" by the Supreme Court "vindicates great national aspirations."

Demanding a statement, he asked, "Is the government going to fix the accountability for how and why this happened?"

He spoke after BJP members created uproar over the issue with some of them trooping into the Well, chanting slogans like "woh sarkar nikami hai, jo brashtachar ko rok na paye (a government which cannot stop corruption is incompetent)."

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ashwani Kumar said he would convey the sentiments of the BJP to the government.

The Left parties said the quashing of the appointment of Thomas was "another serious blow" to the government which was faced with major corruption cases.

"I think what the court has said today only vindicates the position our party has taken at the outset. Now the government, which is facing major corruption charges, has to answer why they have been taking such decisions", CPI(M) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury said.

Terming the quashing of Thomas' appointment as CVC as "a serious blow and a stricture against the government", CPI leader D Raja said the apex court's decision would "erode the moral authority of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister as the Leader of Opposition had distanced herself from this appointment. The government should be held accountable".

Raja also said that Thomas should have stepped down on his own as soon as the controversy broke out several months ago. "But he remained rigid till the Supreme Court struck down his appointment and his continuance in the position became untenable".

Another CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, "This is yet another blow after the telecom and CWG scams and after many things that have eroded the credibility of the government.

"It only shows that the government has no respect for propriety, for convention, for the rules and norms. The government is being run by individuals according to the whims or some orders from some unseen person who is trying to run the show from behind," he said.

He remarked sarcastically, "I am sorry to say that my friend Manmohan Singh appears to be quite ignorant and disrespectful towards democratic conventions."

In Lok Sabha, Deputy Leader of BJP Gopinath Munde raised the issue.

"The Supreme Court has declared the appointment of Thomas as illegal. This is a serious matter," Munde said. "We want the government to make a statement and tell the House where the mistake was committed by the government," he said.

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said on Twitter, "Dignity of the office of CVC has been restored".

BJP spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad asked, "Will the Prime Minister own up the responsibility." He said Singh must give an explanation to the nation.

"In the committee (which selected Thomas), Sushma Swaraj had clearly stated 'don't appoint him because a corruption case is pending against him.' Yet, he was appointed," he said.

"...We see the insistence of the PM that he (Thomas) should be appointed. The Prime Minister must explain to the nation," Prasad said.

He said his party seriously suspected that Thomas was appointed to "somehow influence the CBI investigation into the 2G spectrum scam".

Prasad pointed out that the CVC is monitoring the CBI probe into the spectrum issue and that Thomas was also a telecom secretary.


First Published: Thursday, March 03, 2011, 23:27

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