New Delhi: Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy on Monday rejected senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi`s attack on Home Minister P Chidambaram on the issue of CAG indictment of his ministry for alleged favours to private firms, saying such attacks would harm decision making at higher levels.
Dismissing criticism by Joshi, who is also the chairman of Public Accounts Committee, and CPM leader Sitaram Yechuri as baseless, he said the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) is a draft report to which the ministry will respond with an "open mind" in eight weeks time.
"By making this criticism, I am afraid they are prejudicing the process of objective examination by CAG," he said.
CAG after incorporating ministry`s comment will table the final report in Parliament after which it will go to PAC. "Why should such a senior member of Parliament be in such a haste?"
"It is not very edifying for a senior member like Joshi. He should leave the job to younger people in the party (BJP) and not indulge in this (kind of criticism)," Reddy said.
Joshi had on Friday attacked the government for alleged favours to companies like Reliance Industries and singled out Chidambaram, who was then Finance Minister, for the criticism. He had demanded Chidambram`s removal from the Cabinet.
Reddy said while the draft CAG report does not make any reference to the USD 4.20 per mmBtu price fixed for Reliance`s KG-D6 gas, Joshi has brought in "extraneous matter and singled out Chidambaram (for the decision due to) personal agenda”.
The gas price was fixed by an empowered group of ministers of which Chidambaram was part as the then Finance Minister. "If decisions taken by EGoM is to be criticised personally, then there is no shelter for ministers. Decisions taken in EGoM are
collective if such attacks are made, people will be afraid to take decisions."