M A I N   N E W S

PJ Thomas is CVC
Sworn in; Sushma Swaraj objects again
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 7
Ignoring the BJP’s objection, the government appointed Telecom Secretary PJ Thomas as the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC). President Pratibha Patil administered the oath of office to Thomas, a 1973 batch IAS officer of the Kerala cadre, at a function in Rashtrapati Bhavan this afternoon.

Hours later, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj called on the President and conveyed her opposition to the appointment of Thomas. She also explained to President Patil why the BJP had stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony of Thomas.

Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and Cabinet Secretary K M Chandrasekhar were among those present at the brief ceremony.

Thomas succeeded Pratyush Sinha, a 1969 batch IAS officer of the Bihar cadre, who demitted office on Monday at the end of a four-year term.

The selection of the new CVC was marked by a controversy after Swaraj, who is part of a three-member selection committee, objected to the choice of Thomas, alleging that he had a tainted background.

The Prime Minister and the Home Minister are the other two members of the committee.

Swaraj had given a “dissent note” on the selection of Thomas, alleging that he had a hand in the “cover-up” of the 2G spectrum scam.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had yesterday defended the appointment of Thomas as the new CVC. “We have done the right thing. We have chosen the best candidate out of the list of three,” he had told a group of editors.





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