Karuna backs Advani's view on collegium for appointing ECs, CAGs



Chennai: Backing L K Advani's suggestion for a collegium to appoint Election Commissioners and CAG, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday said the BJP leader's view could not be ignored and expressed confidence that the Centre would accord due importance to it.

"I am also in agreement with the contents in the letter (of Advani). It cannot be ignored just because it is the opposition view," the DMK patriarch said writing in the party mouthpiece Murasoli.

Karunanidhi, whose DMK is a key UPA ally, said, "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the central government will accord importance to the opinion and consider those views."

Advani, in a letter to the Prime Minister on Sunday, had 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 the "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.

Advani had written to the Prime Minister suggesting opposition involvement in selection of CEC and CAG, saying the current system was open to "manipulation and partisanship".

On Chief Minister Jayalalithaa describing the Rs two rollback on petrol prices as an "eyewash," Karunanidhi said while the Centre had come forward to do that besides sharing the burden of people by subsidising diesel and LPG costs, she had not offered any relief from last year's bus fare increase and hike in milk prices by her government.

He recalled that he and DMK's senior leaders K Anbazhagan and M K Stalin had led protests against the petrol price hike. Besides them, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had also led a protest, he said.

However, Jayalalithaa had confined herself to just issuing statements slamming the price hike, he said. Karunanidhi also criticised Jayalalithaa for not reducing Value Added Tax on petrol unlike Goa, Kerala or Delhi governments.

"People will decide which is eyewash," he added.

PTI