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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Tewari slams CAG for criticising govt on foreign soil

PTI  Chennai, February 08, 2013
First Published: 16:06 IST(8/2/2013) | Last Updated: 16:10 IST(8/2/2013)

Slamming the CAG for criticising the government on foreign soil, information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Friday said Constitutional authorities should circumscribe by Lakshman rekha propriety.

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"... it is most unfortunate that C and AG rather than validating the integrity of his numbers (on 2G presumptive loss of Rs. 1.76 lakh crore) chooses to criticise the Government on foreign soil and at a foreign fora," Tewari told reporters in Chennai.

He was responding to questions about CAG Vinod Rai's remarks at Harvard Kennedy School on Thursday rebutting criticism that he was exceeding the mandate and saying that the auditor was treading a "new path in the belief that the final stakeholder is the public at large".

"...The question is about the integrity of numbers. Our question to Mr C and AG, where is the 1.76 lakh crore (loss), still continues to hang in the air," Tewari said.

He said this was not the first time he (the CAG) had done it (criticising the government).

"And this is not the first time that he has done it, I think constitutional authorities, you know, should circumscribe by the Lakshman rekha propriety."

Delivering a lecture at the Harvard Kennedy, Rai, whose reports on various scams had raised hackles of those in government, had said the CAG would endeavour to uncover instances of crony capitalism and counselled the government to support enterprises per se and not entrepreneurs.

"We may not be able to wipe out corruption, but our endeavour is to uncover instances of crony capitalism. Government should be seen to support enterprise per se and not particular entrepreneurs," Rai, who has come under government criticism for reports on various scams like in telecom and coal, said.

Asked about European Union raising the issue of accountability for 2002 Gujarat riots, Tewari said he wondered why chief minister Narendra Modi could not stand up and take responsibility as it happened under his watch rather than India being subjected to these homilies from foreign diplomats.

"I think, there is a certain ignominy attached to it."


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