The BJP wants the government to put on hold all major appointments, including that of India’s first ever lokpal, and has petitioned the election commission seeking such a direction to the UPA.
The move is specifically linked to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s plan to hold a meeting of the lokpal selection committee on April 27 or 28 to appoint the corruption watchdog — first reported by HT on Friday. The BJP has opposed this, saying such a crucial appointment should not be made in the middle of elections.
The saffron party has also raised questions over the government’s move to announce a new army chief.
In a memorandum to chief election commissioner VS Sampath on Saturday, the BJP said key appointments during elections were not “desirable trends” and the Centre should be instructed to defer them till the new government takes charge. It pointed out that the process of selection (of lokpal) had been “aborted” due to the exit of some eminent jurists.
Referring to the “undue haste” shown in appointing the navy chief, the BJP asked the EC to stop this tendency of making major appointments during elections “that seems to be on the increase in the government”. It also sought action against the PM’s media adviser, Pankaj Pachauri, accusing him of violating the code of conduct by listing out the government’s achievements at a press conference on Friday.