The Gujarat high court's verdict upholding governor Kamla Beniwal's appointment of justice RA Mehta as the state lokayukta sparked off a political slugfest between the Congress and BJP on Wednesday.
While Congress general-secretary in-charge of Gujarat Mohan Prakash demanded that the Modi government step down, the party officially saw this as exposing the BJP's "double standards".
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "This is yet another judicial confirmation of Modi's hypocrisy and double standards of BJP."
Reiterating this stance, party colleague Manish Tewari said, "The litmus test of the BJP's intent would have been to graciously accept the high court verdict and not moving to explore the Supreme Court option."
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley called the development a setback to federalism. He said, "The divided judgment of the Gujarat high court is a setback to federalism. A governor is a nominee of the central government. If a governor gets primacy over a state government in the appointment of lokayukta, it amounts to the central government appointing the lokayukta through the governor. This will hurt the credibility of lokayukta as an institution..."
In Lucknow, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, however, targeted social activist Anna Hazare, said, “We are surprised that Anna fails to see corruption in Gujarat. Anna had praised Narendra Modi, who wants to cover up corruption and hence did not allow the setting up of a lokayukta in the state."