The NDA has mounted its attack on the government for defending the appointment of PJ Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC).
The government had said the decision was its prerogative and was a majority judgment of the selection panel comprising the Prime Minister, Home Minister and Leader of the Opposition.
"The government is saying that it was a 2:1 majority decision. Then why is the Opposition leader there, for the Opposition will be in a perpetual minority given the composition of the panel," NDA convenor and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav told HT. "Then how will the CVC be autonomous and impartial? Do they call the Opposition leader for a cup of tea? The appointment of this CVC is illegal and he must resign."
BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad was no less scathing: "It is a strange situation that the government is defending a tainted CVC and unleashing an aggressive attack on an upright CAG. But in the process the credibility of both institutions is being weakened."
He cited a department of personnel and public grievances circular of 1992 to state that at the time of promotion of an official, whether he had a disciplinary process or criminal proceedings pending against him was taken into account.
"We ask the Prime Minister, when even a small appointment is done with due diligence, why was this not followed while appointing the top anti-corruption watchdog? What is the compulsion for defending a tainted CVC?" Prasad asked. "And Sonia ji should reply why she lays down five bullet points against corruption for Congressmen but none for the CVC's appointment?"
He also asked why the government was reluctant to reveal the names of Indians with black money stashed abroad, and had not shared the names with the SC on condition of secrecy.