Digvijaya takes on Rai for WEF speech

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 08, 2012 11:22 hrs
Digvijaya takes on Rai for WEF speech

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Thursday criticised Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) Vinod Rai for his comments at the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Rai on Wednesday triggered a row when he said there is a "brazenness" with which decisions are taken by the government.

Singh sarcastically thanked Rai for his ´valuable advice´.

"I wonder why CAG is not doing anything to stop leaks of reports from his office," Singh told reporters on Thursday.

Congress leader and Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari also slammed Rai and said he must not forget that he too is a part of the same government.

"If he talks about brazenness in decision-making and it refers to the time period of this particular government, I think it would be worth its while to recall that he was part of the same government from 2004 to 2008," Tewari told reporters.

"So, I guess that when he talks about brazenness, that paradigm equally applies across the board to everybody who is a part of the government," he said.

Bharatiaya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Prakash Javadekar, meanwhile, said Rai´s suggestions were ´very important´ and ´needs to be debated´.

Creating a controversy, Rai on Wednesday said: "The brazenness with which decisions were being taken is actually appalling."

Addressing the World Economic Forum on India in NCR, Gurgaon, Rai said that for too long, politicians have believed they were entitled to govern without accountability.

"We were once transparency averse, but no longer," said Rai, who investigated India's biggest corruption scandal, the 2G telecoms scam which cost the country US$ 39 billion.

"I think everything is coming out into the public domain," he added.

But he called for citizen groups to become more engaged in exposing corruption.

"Why do we leave it to government alone to introduce accountability and probity?" Rai asked. "Leaving it to government has not succeeded."

The country still requires more independent, constitution-based institutions to keep the government and corporations accountable, Rai added.

"We have remarkable example of Lokpal. He will have to be guaranteed constitutional authority to function independently. CBI is not independent of executive. CVC is another much feared, much maligned, but still a statutory body. If you really want them to deliver, you must take the risk and courage to make them constitutional bodies," he said.

More from Sify: