Stop ‘unholy haste’ to appoint Lokpal, Jaitley tells Centre

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and BJP’s Amritsar candidate Arun Jaitley Sunday told the government to immediately stop the process of Lokpal appointment, arguing that the selection “procedure is legally suspect” apart from being in violation of the model code of conduct.

“On the eve of the announcement of the elections, the UPA government decided to rush through with the appointment of the Chairperson of the Lokpal and its members . Half the elections in the country have been completed. 26 days are remaining for the declaration of the results and the formation of a new government. This procedure should be stopped immediately,” Jaitley said in a signed article posted on his website.

He asserted that the government’s attempt to “rush through” the Lokpal appointment was “certainly not” proper in the wake of its “certain departure” after the elections. “It would be a gross political impropriety and violation of the code of conduct if the UPA would rush through its appointment at this stage. Besides this, the procedure is legally suspect,” Jaitley wrote, adding that “unholy haste will destroy the credibility of the Lokpal even before it is formed”.

He indicated that the BJP will thwart the process with appeal that the “effort of the Prime Minister’s Office to convene a meeting of the Selection Committee for filling up the vacancies of the Search Committee should not be allowed to succeed”.

The BJP Saturday moved the Election Commission seeking imposition of moratorium on major appointments during the elections. The BJP’s petition referred to the process for the appointment of new Army Chief besides that of the anti-corruption watchdog. Jaitley Sunday, however, steered clear from the issue of selection of the new Army Chief.