Cong slams BJP for ''running commentary'' on CVC appointment

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New Delhi, Jan 31 (PTI) Congress today came down heavilyon BJP for its "running commentary" against the appointment ofCentral Vigilance Commissioner P J Thomas and questioned whythe NDA government did not give sanction for his prosecutionin the Palmolein case when it was in power at the Centre.

Party spokesperson Manish Tewari at the same time made itclear that he was "not holding brief for any body" nor "goinginto merits" of the case.

"Kerala government had sought prosecution sanction fromthe Cetnre against Thomas in December 1999. It was NDAgovernment at the Centre. If the case against Thomas was sostrong, will the BJP tell why did it not grant sanctionagainst him from December 1999 to May 2004 when they were inthe government," Tewari told reporters here.

He also questioned the Left over the issue asking whytheir government in Kerala appointed him Chief Secretary ofthe state in 2007 when it had earlier sought the Centre''spermission to prosecute Thomas.

"This is an issue before the court. The government or acommittee of the government has appointed the CVC. A fewpersons have filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against theappointment.

"The government has also presented its position in thematter before the court. Whatever the Supreme Court willdecide will be acceptable to all. My objection is that BJP isgiving a running commentary on the issue since last one month,when the case is in the court...we do not want to go into themerit of the case unlike BJP as we respect the Supreme Court,"Tewari said.

The party''s reaction came on a day when Home Minister PChidambaram said the Selection Committee meeting to choose theCVC in September last year did discuss the issue of Palmoleincase against Thomas, but parried a question whether a"chargesheeted" person should have been appointed.

The Congress spokesperson also dismissed suggestions thatChidambaram''s acceptance that the case was discussed in themeeting as pointed out earlier by BJP leader Sushma Swarajamounted to contradicting the statement of the AttorneyGeneral in the Supreme Court.

"Anybody who has heard the Home Minister''s reply can seethat he threw light on what ostensibly was discussed in themeeting and he also clarified regarding submission of the AG.

After such a holistic elaboration, I dint think that it shouldbe further extrapolated," Tewari said.

Chidamabram today said, "It was never stated (by the AG)that there was no discussion on the case against Thomas." PTIAMR SPG

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