Trying to wriggle out of the controversy over Union minister V Narayansamy's remarks on CAG, Congress on Monday indicated that government will not go in for changes in the auditor's institutional mechanism based on the "activities of a person".
Denying suggestions that incumbent Vinod Rai has become a pain in the neck for the ruling dispensation, party spokesman Sandeep Dikshit told reporters that the CAG is the "companion" of the government.
"I don't think government will take institutional measures based on the activities of a person", he said when asked whether the government was contemplating making CAG a multi-member body changes in view of allegations by the party accusing Rai of "going beyond the mandate" in reports on 2G and coal blocks allocations.
In an interview to PTI, minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy had talked about government mulling a proposal to make CAG a multi-member body which drew sharp criticism from the opposition and civil society. The minister had later sought to retract his comments on this issue.
Dikshit, who was subjected to a volley of questions on the issue, said the minister has clarified that he was "misquoted and misunderstood" and "I have no reason to doubt what Narayanasamy has said".
"CAG is a companion of the government. It is part and parcel of the government. CAG is not pain in the neck for anyone. It gives an opinion, right or wrong, which is sent to the Public Accounts Committee for consideration.
"Unfortunately, CAG has given some reports which gives an impression that (something is wrong between the CAG and government)."
At the same time, he made it clear that the Congress has "no stand" on the matter and it was for the government to decide. "Right now, there is no stand. Constitution speaks of one CAG. Shunglu Commission has given report.....making CAG a multi-member body is a recommendation of the committee. it is for the government to look into it or not."
The Congress reaction came close on the heels of BJP threatening that any move to dilute CAG's authority would be seriously opposed by the party inside and outside Parliament.