Oppn seeks PM`s explanation on Thomas` appointment

Last Updated: Thursday, March 3, 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.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, March 3, 2011 - 23:27
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