Utter disgust in country over govt`s conduct: LK Advani

For several months now, one word that has been reverberating is `corruption`, Advani said.

Updated: Mar 06, 2011, 22:39 PM IST

New Delhi: There is "utter disgust" in the country over the way the UPA govt has been conducting itself, senior BJP leader LK Advani said on Sunday, demanding the opposition should be involved in the appointment of Election Commissioners, as happens in the case of a CVC.

In the latest post on his blog, Advani said it was the country`s good fortune "that there is today a Supreme Court extremely conscientious about its high constitutional duties".

Noting the Supreme Court had last week expressed its indignation over the lack of seriousness by the government in bringing to book alleged black money offenders like Pune businessman Hasan Ali, he said the government`s behaviour had been "abnormal."

"`What the hell is going on in this country", commented an exasperated Supreme Court last week as it expressed its indignation...`What the hell` is certainly not a phrase one would normally expect from a Supreme Court bench. But government`s behaviour these days has been so abnormal that if you go around the country and note the language you hear everywhere, it reflects nothing other than a sense of utter disgust over the manner in which government had been conducting itself," Advani said.

Referring to the Supreme Court Friday quashing the appointment of PJ Thomas as the CVC, Advani said a leading daily of the capital carried the heading: "SC waved red flags but govt had eyes wide shut."

"I understand that after sensing the Supreme Court`s displeasure over the nomination of PJ Thomas as CVC, an attempt was made by some in government to make Thomas quit on his own. He, however, refused to do so. In New Delhi`s political circles, it is said that a senior minister advised him not to yield," Advani said.

He said that the first major attempt to control corruption was also made by the Supreme Court in 1998, when in the Vineet Narain case, Jusitices JS Verma, SP Bharucha and SC Jain delivered a judgement due to which the Central Vigilance Commission became a statuory body charged with superintendence of the Central Bureau of Investigation. Also, the appointment of the CVC was made subject to selection by a committee comprising the prime minister, home minister and the leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha.

He said then Chief Justice Verma`s decision to involve the opposition in an important appointment, which till then was the exclusive preserve of the ruling party, set a precedent. The leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha also was included in the selection panel for the information commissioners when parliament enacted the Right to Information Act.

Advani said that it would be very appropriate and a step towards strengthening democracy if the Supreme Court`s 1998 decision followed in the RTI Act was also incorporated in the case of the Election Commission.

He said the move will not need a constitutional amendment and can be done by an ordinary enactment.

"The earlier it is done the better," Advani said.

Highlighting the issue of corruption, he said: "For several months now, one word that has been reverberating in every nook and corner of the country is the word `corruption`."

Advani said that though the opposition had attempted to make corruption an issue in every general election but they really succeeded on a national level only once, in 1989 on the Bofors issue.

"In this case, the banner of revolt against corruption was raised not only by opposition leaders, but from within the Congress Party by Shri Vishwanath Pratap Singh. It is, therefore, that in one of my interviews last week, I have remarked that the Congress should consider itself lucky that there is no VP Singh in its ranks today," Advani said.