Erred in naming CVC: PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in Lok Sabha that the appointment of PJ Thomas as central vigilance commissioner (CVC) was “error of judgement” did not placate the opposition. The BJP demanded a detailed explanation and the Left parties walked out in protest.delhi Updated: Mar 08, 2011 00:24 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement in Lok Sabha that the appointment of PJ Thomas as central vigilance commissioner (CVC) was “error of judgement” did not placate the opposition. The BJP demanded a detailed explanation and the Left parties walked out in protest.
“I have no hesitation in repeating what I said in Jammu. Obviously, there was an error of judgement. I accept full responsibility for it,” Singh said after Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj sought an explanation on appointment of the CVC.
The Supreme Court had last week quashed Thomas' appointment, terming it illegal after hearing a public interest litigation filed after his appointment alleging that Thomas did not had impeccable integrity.
PM Singh explained the entire sequence of events leading to Thomas's appointment and annulment of the appointment by the apex court. He also mentioned that a committee comprising him, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Swaraj, met on September 3 and recommended Thomas for appointment as CVC. Swaraj had submitted her dissent to the proposal to appoint Thomas, he said.
“We respect the verdict of Supreme Court and the government will take into account the directions while appointing the new CVC," he said. Immediately after his statement, the opposition began protesting. Swaraj said she was "surprised" that the Prime Minister had not said even what he had stated in Jammu about owning up responsibility for the CVC appointment. "I was expecting you to repeat at least what you said in Jammu," she said amid chants of 'shame shame' by BJP members.
Her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, however, is likely to ask more probing questions on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, and is expected to seek answers from the PM on two points: was he misled (by the home minister) or allowed himself to be misled, and whether he knew of the pendency of the case against Thomas.
BJP's deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha SS Ahluwalia said that controversy around the PM's approval of the CVC appointment was not over and would be taken up in the Rajya Sabha, where about 10 clarifications will be sought from the PM.