Though, constitutionally not wrong, it was the confrontational course adopted by the former Chief Election Commissioner, T.N. Seshan, on almost every issue that compelled the government to find a way of clipping his wings by constituting a three-member Election Commission, instead of a single all powerful and formidable entity (“Centre may make CAG a multimember body,” Nov. 12). The net result is that the EC does its work smoothly. If this is the case with the EC, why not have the same formula for the constitutionally unquestionable and all powerful Comptroller and Auditor-General? No doubt, the government’s shortcomings are to be pointed out with remedial measures. But these are to be taken in good faith and should not be used as a stick by the Opposition to beat the ruling party with at every opportune moment. Mr. Shunglu’s suggestion is a welcome and constructive one.
Capt. T. Raju (retd.), Secunderabad
The proposal is a step to neutralise the CAG. In its current form, the CAG has been able to unveil the multiscams which have obviously uncovered inconvenient truths.
Aishverya Goyal, New Delhi
It took the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, V. Narayanasamy, to give form to our worst fears. However, it does not matter whether the institution of the CAG remains a single or multimember body. What is more important is whether it is allowed to function without fear, favour, bias and with translucence.
R. Sampath, Chennai
Mr. Narayanasamy’s retraction has few takers. The move to weaken the CAG, which has caused immense embarrassment to the Congress and the UPA, shows that the party, given its overbearing manners, will go to any extreme to surmount inconvenient hurdles and have its way. No doubt, the CAG is a constitutional body entrusted with overseeing government finances. But in theory or practice, it is not a substitute for Parliament or its committees like the PAC to hold the government accountable for its acts of commission and omission. Any move to muzzle the CAG must be resisted.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode
Mr. Narayanasamy’s latest salvo, at the CAG has dented the credibility of the PMO. It is time the Prime Minister corrected the course of action especially after he recently said there would be no tolerance of corruption.
Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai
The CAG has obviously become a thorn in the flesh of the UPA government. In light of this, there is need to make both the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Central Vigilance Commission autonomous.
H.P. Murali, Bangalore
The government’s ill-motivated proposal is a reflection of its inability to accept the scrutiny and criticism of constitutional bodies. The argument of improving the efficiency is eyewash. The EC is no more efficient now than when it was a single member body. The intention is to make the CAG and his team subservient to the will of the government. This is against the intention of the founders of the Constitution who wanted the government’s finances and revenue policies to be subject to public scrutiny through CAG reports.
V.N. Mukundarajan, Thiruvananthapuram
The reports remind us of the days of Hitler, who eliminated those who were not in agreement with his ideals. It is apparent that the government wants to indulge in a dental procedure of extracting the sharp teeth — independent powers enjoyed by the CAG, who has done outstanding work in exposing irregularities without fear or favour. The government should not forget that the general public is closely monitoring its moves.
K. Mohanan, Puducherry