BJP today said the comments of Home Minister P Chidambaram on the CVC selection issue vindicates the stand of the party and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj that the government was informed about the Palmolien case pending against P J Thomas.
"Home Minister P Chidambaram's briefing has only confirmed the position that Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had taken as regards the meeting on CVC. A detailed discussion indeed took place on the Palmolein case and the charge sheet against P J Thomas," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Chidambaram today said the Selection Committee meeting to choose the Central Vigilance Commissioner in September last year did discuss the issue of Palmolein case against Thomas. "We did discuss the names of the panel. In fact, the bulk of the time (of discussion) was regarding P J Thomas and Palmolein case.
She (Swaraj) made her points, the other members (PM and HM) of the Committee made their points," the Home Minister said. Chidambaram's remarks came against the backdrop of Solicitor General's contention in court last week that details of the cases pending against Thomas were not provided to the selection panel. Sitharaman insisted that Swaraj had brought to the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram the case pending against Thomas and suggested that any of the other two names in the panel could be chosen for the CVC's post. She said when the government remained adamant on choosing Thomas, Swaraj was "constrained" to give in writing that she disagreed with the choice.
"BJP feels its stand has been vindicated. The issue was discussed widely. Government indeed knew of the case pending and Thomas being part of the charge sheet and his name not being cleared," Sitharaman said. The BJP spokesperson maintained that Swaraj had so far stayed away from filing any case on the issue but now when the court has taken cognisance of the matter, she has chosen to file an affidavit. Swaraj, who is away in Kerala to meet family members of fishermen killed by Sri Lankan Navy, is expected to come out with a statement soon on the issue, party sources said.