Ex-CAG's comments draw sharp reactions
Former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Vinod Rai's remark that he was "pressurised" by the erstwhile UPA government to drop certain names from his reports Sunday drew sharp reactions from the Congress and the BJP.
While the Congress questioned why Rai did not make the revelations while he was in office, the BJP said "skeleton of the Congress' corruption" was now tumbling out.
Rai told a newspaper Saturday that United Progressive Alliance (UPA) functionaries had sent certain politicians to him who demanded that he not include certain names in his reports on the coalgate and Commonwealth Games scams.
He also seconded the allegations made by former prime minister Manmohan Singh's media advisor Sanjay Baru and former minister Natwar Singh, who both wrote in their memoirs that Manmohan Singh did not wield real power in the former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.
Congress leader Manish Tewari said: "Rai Sahib allegedly says he was holding a constitutional position hence the silence? Was it not incumbent on him since he was holding a constitutional position to speak out if he was being ostensibly pressurised to do or not to do his duty in a particular manner."
The Congress leader, in a tweet, invited Rai for a debate on "sensationalism that formed the staple of his tenure".
Meanwhile, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: "It is now shamelessly evident that the Congress had indulged in vast loot of public money and they tried to shield their ministers.
"The skeleton of the Congress' corruption is now tumbling out with a fresh case of their wrongdoings coming to light every day," he added.
The Bharatiya Janata Party demanded that former prime minister Manmohan Singh should come clean on the issue and explain what transpired during the 10 years of UPA rule.
Naqvi said: "The UPA government, in particular the Congress, misused a lot of constitutional institutions and bodies. Rai's allegations is one of the examples of such misuse."
He, however, remained sceptical that Manmohan Singh would make any statement over the controversy.
"When he (Manmohan Singh) was the prime minister, he had been speaking only on the direction of the super prime minister (alluding to Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi). I don't know whether he would speak on this issue or not," Naqvi said.
(Posted on 24-08-2014)