BJP targets government over new CAG

New Delhi, May 22 (IANS) The BJP Wednesday targeted the UPA government over appointment of Shashi Kant Sharma as the new Comptroller and Auditor General of India, and said there was “institutional conflict of interest” as he will be auditing defence deals which were finalised during his term as defence secretary.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley said he was not making remark about the individual but it was an “institutional conflict of interest”.

Jaitley, who is Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said a substantial part of budget was spent on defence procurement. “He will audit it himself. Is it appropriate?” Jaitley asked.

Apparently referring to criticism of Sharma’s appointment by top lawyer and Aam Aadmi Party leader Prashant Bhushan over conflict of interest, Jaitley said the comments had come from responsible quarters.

Jaitley and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj issued a joint statement, saying that quality of appointments made to constitutional and statutory offices establishes that the policy of the Congress-led government was to subvert these institutions.

“The policy of the UPA has been callous disregard of all democratic institutions. The quality of appointments made to constitutional and statutory offices establishes that the policy of the government is to subvert these institutions,” they said.

The two leaders said that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government owes its survival to the CBI.

“The CBI’s policy is to help the UPA as a pliable investigating agency. Offences of the UPA and its allies are covered up. Vindictiveness is shown towards the opponents of the government. Parties like the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party are managed through a carrot and stick policy followed by the CBI,” they said.

Referring to the Election Commission, National Human Rights Commission and the Central Vigilance Commission, they said some of the appointments that the UPA made were highly questionable.

Sharma was Tuesday appointed the new Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), th nation’s official auditor, to succeed Vinod Rai who demitted office Wednesday on retirement. Sharma served as defence secretary before being appointed the CAG.

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