Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh on Friday triggered a political storm by accusing CAG Vinod Rai of having a "political agenda" because the national auditor's reports after 2004 are "without facts and speak of imaginary losses".
To make his point, Singh — known for triggering controversies with his remarks — cited the case of former CAG TN Chaturvedi, who had given a report on the Bofors issue and then joined the BJP.
The BJP strongly condemned Singh's remark. "Attributing motives to the country's top auditor is condemnable. He should not have used such language," party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said. "We would like to remind him that a former RBI governor is the Prime Minister and former chief election commissioner MS Gill is also an ex-UPA minister. Time only tells who joins politics," he said.
Ridiculing the CAG's approach, the Congress leader wanted Rai not to forget that India is a democratic welfare state, where huge sums are given for subsidy in PDS, fertilisers and petroleum products.
"Tomorrow, CAG may say that a scam happened as government gave so much of subsidy in the PDS, fertiliser and petroleum products… An atmosphere is being created in the whole country that there have been scams of crores of rupees," Singh said.
He urged the members of the public accounts committee to have a discussion with the CAG and his team on all these issues.
NDA convenor Sharad Yadav took strong exception to criticism of CAG by political leaders and said they were not competent in economic matters or question constitutional institutions.
While accepting the BJP's maximalist line on the coal issue, Yadav expressed hope that Parliament would discuss the matter in detail.