The Congress' core group went into a huddle at Prime Minister Manmohan's Singh's residence on Thursday evening to discuss the political fallout of the Supreme Court striking down the appointment of Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) P.J. Thomas.
Earlier, the Prime Minister, responding to queries from journalists, said he “respected” the court's decision, and expressed his willingness to make a statement in Parliament on Monday. (Dr. Singh will not be in Delhi on Friday as he is making an official visit to Jammu and Kashmir).
Later, a government manager said it would have been better if an explanatory statement had come from the Law Minister.
Meanwhile, party leaders put on a brave face, saying the government had “bowed” before the verdict. They, however, privately admitted that the court verdict might fuel “the negative climate” in which they were operating. They also admitted that it added to the government's “current woes.”
Officially, the line was circumspect, with Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily saying that the Thomas case was an instance of a “systemic failure.” “We need to address that and move forward...It certainly is not a reflection on the high power committee or the Prime Minister,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) V. Narayanswamy told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the PMO did not advise Mr. Thomas to step down, in reply to a question.