The Congress is yet to take a formal position on the recommendations of the Veerappa Moily-led Administrative Reforms Commission on cleansing and toning up the administration. But privately several leaders have dismissed as "unpractical’’ some of its suggestions, including the one that calls on parties to seek a fresh mandate if they pull out of a coalition.
"In a democracy how can you tie down a party to a coalition? To ask them to seek a fresh mandate is unpractical," said a prominent Congress leader who did not want to be named.
The panel had suggested a constitutional amendment to ensure that if a coalition partner that was elected on a common minimum programme decides to walk out of the combine, it should go to the people for a fresh mandate.
Making a pitch for cleansing administration of corruption, the panel also called for, among other things, a national judicial commission, appointment of ethics commissioners in each house of Parliament, redefining the concept of office of profit and abolishing schemes like local area development fund scheme (MPLAD).
Some of these suggestions have already been debated and rejected by political parties. Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, for one, is for the abolition of MPLAD. But when he took up the issue with other -parties, they rejected the suggestion.
"The fact that the panel has given its recommendations does not mean that they will be accepted by the government. The Sarkaria commission report also made several suggestions but only a few were accepted," said another Congress leader. He said that his party, which was busy with the ongoing assembly polls, has yet to discuss the issue.
Quizzed about the party’s stand on the Moily report on administrative reforms, Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said: "These are all recommendations which add to the intellectual richness of ideas which necessarily have to be discussed, debated and dissected at all levels of civil society before partial or full adoption by the government. This should be the start of the debate and not the end."