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BJP-Congress confrontation on appointments escalates

Friday, 2 May 2014 - 9:59pm IST | Agency: PTI

Confrontation between Congress and BJP on top-level appointments escalated today with government declaring it was "not a caretaker" entity and will continue to take decisions till the last day as BJP raised objections to naming of CICs, Lokpal and a judge to head snoopgate inquiry by a "lame-duck" ministry.

"We are not a caretaker government. As a responsible government, we will continue to work till the last day," Union Minister and Congress spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters insisting that the party-led coalition has every right to make the appointments.

He also wondered as to what reservations the BJP could have to the appointment of the Lokpal as the descision has to be a collective one in which the Opposition party is the part of the consultation process.

Regarding BJP's objections to the government's move to appointment of the new Army chief, Sharma said this was "not very reassuring" and wondered whether the BJP was opposing it as it wanted to "control and manipulate" and to have some one on the post, who is "in the mind" of General V K Singh, the retired Army chief who has now joined the BJP.

Sharma said that it will be a "most dangerous thing".

His comments came on a day BJP leader Arun Jaitley said that his party strongly opposes any such appointment.

"And if the government still goes ahead, it will be within the jurisdiction of the next government to consider them as improper," he said.

He also wondered how such appointments will be legally tenable, when only a fortnight remains for declartion of results of the new elections and the model code of conduct is in place.

As government said that UPA would appoint a judge to probe the snoopgate scandal, allegedly involving Narendra Modi before the result day on May 16, Jaitley said that all the judges approached by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had refused to be a part of the "desperate" exercise and "political and malafide" move.

"Media reports have indicated that the lame duck UPA Government is finally planning to name a judge for the 'Snoopgate' Commission…I will be very curious to know the name of the Judge who has agreed to lend himself to the UPA," he said in a Facebook post.

Terming as "very intimidating" Jaitley's remarks, Sharma said it was an "advance warning of the shape of things to come".

He dubbed the BJP leader as a "known apologist of Narendra Modi" and said his remarks are "literally very intimidating" and "in fact threatening" and conveying a sense as to who among the judges "can dare" to come forward for such a probe against the BJP's PM candidate.




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