A DAY after Congress leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge in a dissent note to the Centre objected to the appointment of Rishi Kumar Shukla as CBI Director, senior Union minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday targeted him, saying he “dissents regularly”.
In his blog, Jaitley said the leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha, Kharge, “dissented once again” in the appointment of the new CBI Director. He added, “Kharge dissents regularly.” He said the Congress leader had dissented when Alok Verma was appointed CBI Director, dissented when Verma was transferred and has now dissented when Shukla has been appointed.
“The only thing constant in the high powered committee comprising the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and Leader of the Opposition, which deals with the CBI Director’s appointment and transfer, is the Kharge dissent,” Jaitley said. He said when the Leader of Opposition sits as a member of the committee, he sheds the political colour of his office just like the Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India leave the authority of their respective domains and work exclusively towards appointing or transferring the CBI Director on merit or fairness.
“The position of Shri Kharge… in the Lok Sabha entitles him to sit in the committee but the political colour of that office has to be left outside…,” said the minister. The Congress hit back at Jaitley, questioning his “right” to make a comment or attack Kharge.
“Arun Jaitley is a member of the high-powered committee? He is an outsider when it comes to the committee. What right does he have to comment? Kharge, on the other hand, is a member of the high-powered committee. He has the right to give a dissent note if he wishes to disagree. It is also his responsibility. He had reasons to disagree which he had specified in the dissent note,” Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told reporters. “You (Jaitley) are sitting outside. Even the government did not consult you while preparing the Budget. You had said something and some other things have appeared in the Budget.”