New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Wednesday lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for adopting double standards on the appointment of Lokpal and the Lokayukta, saying the people of the country want a reply from the main opposition outfit on this issue.
"The decision of the apex court is binding on everybody, that is the law of the land. It is not essential to really comment on what the Supreme Court has decided. However, the fundamental question, which arises is, as to why did the Bharatiya Janata Party consistently and repeatedly and in this particular instance the Gujarat Government opposed the appointment of a Lokayukta. Does it not smack of double standards?" asked Tewari.
"That in Delhi you shed crocodile tears on the issue of the appointment of a Lokpal and you make the Lokpal Bill your swan song in order to try and target the UPA Government, which in any case had walked an extra mile on this issue," he added.
Tewari further questioned the BJP for resisting the appointment of a Lokpal consistently for a period of ten years in the states ruled by it.
"But when it comes to your own backyard, when it comes to your own states, you adopt a completely different approach and resist the appointment of a Lokpal consistently for a period of ten years. It begs the obvious question as to why don't you want the activities of the state government to be subjected to an oversight by an independent authority like the Lokayukta," said Tewari.
"And, I think, it is on this issue, that the country would want reply from the BJP and the Government of Gujarat," he added.
Earlier, the Supreme Court upheld the appointment of Justice (retired) Mehta as the state's Lokayukta by Governor Kamla Beniwal.
The apex court, which rejected the Modi Government's contention that the Lokayukta was appointed unilaterally by the Governor, and hence, had breached the constitutional norms and was done without taking its consent, said that appointment was valid as the Governor had appointed the Lokayukta after taking into consideration the views of the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court.
Governor Beniwal had appointed Justice (retired) Mehta to the post of Lokayukta in Gujarat on August 25 last year. The post had been lying vacant for the last eight years.
The Gujarat High Court had earlier on January 18 last year upheld the appointment of Lokayukta by the Governor, while dismissing the plea of the state challenging it.