HM''s stand vindicates party stand, PM should sack CVC: BJP

New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Asserting that Home Minister PChidambaram''s comments on the CVC selection issue vindicatesthe party stand, BJP today said this proves the "culpability"of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded that he sack P JThomas from the top post.

"Home Minister P Chidambaram''s briefing has onlyconfirmed the position that Leader of the Opposition in LokSabha Sushma Swaraj had taken as regards the meeting on CVC.

A detailed discussion indeed took place on the Palmolein caseand the chargesheet against P J Thomas," BJP spokespersonNirmala Sitharaman said.

Chidambaram today said the Selection Committee meetingto choose the Central Vigilance Commissioner in September lastyear did discuss the issue of Palmolein case against Thomas.

"We did discuss the names of the panel. In fact, the bulkof the time (of discussion) was regarding P J Thomas andPalmolein case. She (Swaraj) made her points, the othermembers (PM and HM) of the Committee made their points," theHome Minister said.

Chidambaram''s remarks came against the backdrop ofAttorney General G E Vahanvati''s contention in the SupremeCourt last week that details of the chargesheet pendingagainst Thomas were not placed before the selection panel.

Another BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy saidChidambaram''s statement proves the culpability of the PrimeMinister in the case.

"The culpability lies with the PM "who chose to appointsuch a person as the CVC while the facts were brought to hisknowledge," Rudy said.

He expressed shock at Thomas continuing in officedespite these revelations and demanded that Singh dismiss him.

"If the prime minister has to vindicate his position, thedignitiy of the Supreme Court has to be kept, the dignity ofthe institution of the CVC has to be kept, the Prime Ministershould act to sack the CVC otherwise his culpability iswithout doubt," Rudy said.

Sitharaman insisted that Swaraj had brought to the noticeof the Prime Minister and Chidambaram the case pending againstThomas and suggested that any of the other two names in thepanel could be chosen for the CVC''s post.

She said when the government remained adamant on choosingThomas, Swaraj was "constrained" to give in writing that shedisagreed with the choice.

"BJP feels its stand has been vindicated. The issue wasdiscussed widely. Government indeed knew of the case pendingand Thomas being part of the chargesheet and his name notbeing cleared," Sitharaman said.

She maintained that Swaraj had so far stayed away fromfiling any case on the issue but now when the court has takencognizance of the matter, she has chosen to file an affidavit.

"We are shocked and surprised that the Prime Minister andhis team had preferred to ignore the objection raised bySushma Swaraj. The feigning of ignorance establishes theculpability of the Prime Minister," Rudy said.

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