Congress on Mo nday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his decision to scrap all GoMs and EGoMs saying it was "symptomatic of autocratic regime" and noted that "no single person can be repository of all wisdom".
Party spokesperson Randip Surjewala also reminded that it was the NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee which had initiated setting up such groups to utilise a "wider collective wisdom of more than one person" to resolve complex problems, critical legal issues and inter-department issues.
"... All GoMs (Group of Ministers) and EGoMs (Empowered Group of Ministers) have been dismantled in the garb of asking ministers to decide the issues on their own and then giving all rights to the PMO in key policy decisions," Surjewala told reporters in New Delhi. "It somewhere creates a nagging doubt in the mind on whether it is a step towards centralisation of power and also as to whether it will lead or is symptomatic of autocratic regime," he said. In an apparent jibe at the Prime Minister, Surjewala said, "No one person can be the repository of all wisdom" in the complex polity of India.
"... Three successive governments-- the NDA led by Vajpayee and UPA I and UPA II led by Manmohan Singh constituted, from time to time, various GoMs and EGoMs to understand, to utilise wider collective wisdom of more than one person in the Cabinet," he said. The Congress spokesperson also requested the BJP to clearly come out with it guidelines, future steps and thought process on distribution of responsibility, wisdom and ideas.
He maintained that the utilisation of the collective wisdom of the Council of Ministers has been part of the ethos of the country's polity so far and "the manner in which GoMs and EGoMs have been dismantled without a thorough discussion and debate over it has raised apprehensions." On Saturday, the Prime Minister had scrapped the Empowered Group of Ministers (EGoMs) and Group of Ministers (GoMs), a legacy of the UPA government, to entrust ministries with the responsibility of decision-making and speedy implementation.