New Delhi, Aug 24 IANS | 4 months ago

Former 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 ex-Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Rai did not make the revelations while he was in office, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said "skeleton of the Congress's 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 the Commonwealth Games scams.

He refused to talk to reporters Sunday.

He also seconded the allegations made by earlier media advisor Sanjay Baru and former minister Natwar Singh, who both wrote in their memoirs that ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh did not wield real power in the erstwhile 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 BJP 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.

Rai is coming out with a book "Not Just An Accountant", scheduled to be released in October. The book is expected to be critical of the Manmohan Singh-led previous government.

The former CAG chief, who demitted office last year, had estimated a "notional" loss of Rs.1.76 lakh crore in the 2G spectrum allocation and Rs.1.86 lakh crore in the coal block allocation.

Both the alleged scams severely dented the reputation of the UPA government.

(Posted on 24-08-2014)

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