The recent face-off between the Prime Minister’s Office and the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) over the appointment of an officer in the CBI came up at the CVC golden jubilee celebrations Wednesday, with former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi saying the government has been losing its moral authority and credibility for many years, leading to a situation where its authority is constantly challenged by its own agencies.
Quraishi’s remarks came during the session, Combating Corruption: Electoral Reforms & Political Accountability. Quraishi, however, did not make any direct reference to the PMO-CVC stand-off over the appointment of 1980-batch IPS officer from Tamil Nadu Archana Ramasundaram to the post of Additional Director in the CBI.
The former CEC also said the PM’s authority was being opposed. “The Prime Minister is elected to power. You are eroding and questioning his power constantly,” Quraishi told The Indian Express.
“The government, in general, as an institution has been losing its credibility for the past many years. Electoral reforms are essential for the restoration of this moral authority,” he said.
During his address, Quraishi said there was a time when one constable was enough to control a crowd, simply because of the moral authority he wielded. But now, one constable was needed per protester and even then they were getting beaten up, he lamented.
Stating that elections were the “root cause of all corruption”, Quraishi, who served as the Chief Election Commissioner from 2010 to 2012, called politics “the most lucrative business”, adding that political parties are ready to go to any lengths to come to power.