The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday came down on the government on the issue of the appointment of P.J. Thomas as Chief Vigilance Commissioner, whom it described as “tainted.”
Party spokesperson and deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha S.S. Ahluwalia said here that Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj had raised the issue with the Prime Minister and the Home Minister, who along with her were on the committee that selected the CVC. She then told them that she would be happy to give her consent to the appointment of either of the two other names on the panel of three, or that the government could form a fresh panel.
Ms. Swaraj pointed out that the CVC must be a person whose integrity was beyond question, and Mr. Thomas did not fit the bill as he figured in a charge-sheet in the Kerala palmolein import scandal.
When the Prime Minister and the Home Minister insisted on his appointment, she noted her dissent by writing “I disagree.”
Mr. Ahluwalia said it was not enough for Mr. Thomas to dissociate himself from the probe into the 2G spectrum scandal. He was earlier Telecom Secretary and could, therefore, be questioned. As CVC, he ought to have played a role in that probe, but clearly, now that he himself was “tainted,” he could not. But his continuing as CVC was unacceptable. The intent of the executive was to cover up the telecom scandal, Mr. Ahluwalia said.