BJP exposed on Gujarat Lokayukta issue, says Congress
The Congress Wednesday accused the BJP of double standards on the appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat after the Supreme Court declared as valid the appointment of Justice (retd.) R.A. Mehta for the post.
"The BJP's real face has been exposed before the country. The party which takes out rath yatra (rallies) on corruption issue and gives statements on the Lokpal issue in Delhi does not want its own government in Gujarat to appoint a Lokayukta. Its own government in Gujarat creates hurdles in the appointment of the Lokayukta," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters here.
In a setback to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the Supreme Court Wednesday upheld the appointment of Justice Mehta as the state Lokayukta.
It rejected the state government's contention that he was appointed unilaterally by Gujarat Governor Kamala Beniwal. The post was lying vacant for the last eight years.
"The decision of the apex court is binding on everybody, that is the law of the land. It is not essential to really comment on what the Supreme Court has decided," Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters here.
"However, the fundamental question is why did the Bharatiya Janata Party...and...Gujarat government oppose the appointment of a Lokayukta. Does it not smack of double standards?" he asked.
"I think, on this issue the country would want a reply from the BJP and the Gujarat government," Tewari said.
"In Delhi, you shed crocodile tears on the issue of the appointment of a Lokpal and you make the Lokpal Bill your swan song in order to try and target the UPA government, which in any case had walked an extra mile on this issue," added Tewari.
He also asked why the BJP was resisting the appointment of a Lokpal over 10 years in the states ruled by the party.
"When it comes to your own backyard, when it comes to your own states, you adopt a completely different approach and resist the appointment of a Lokpal consistently for a period of 10 years," said Tewari.