CVC row: Chavan meets Sonia (Lead)

March 10th, 2011 - 11:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Sonia Gandhi New Delhi, March 10 (IANS) Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, under attack from the opposition for approving the file of P.J. Thomas for the chief vigilance commissioner’s selection, Thursday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi over his role in the controversy.

“After prime minister’s clarification, I have nothing to clarify,” Chavan told reporters after meeting with Gandhi at her 10, Janpath residence here.

Asked who had recommended Thomas’ name, he said that “it was a process”.

Chavan’s visit comes two days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put the onus on Chavan, who was then minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and of personnel, for preparing the file recommending Thomas.

“…Was I aware of the charge-sheet against Shri Thomas, the honest answer is that the notes which were prepared by the department and these notes are prepared under the guidance of the minister of state in charge of the DoPT (department of personnel and training), that note did not contain this information,” Manmohan Singh said in his clarifications in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday, after making a statement on the issue.

Soon after the statement by Manmohan Singh, there was speculation that Chavan may be asked to quit.

Chavan said that he has been “totally misquoted” on what he said (in Mumbai) after the PM’s statement.

“I did not blame the Kerala government. All I said was that the Kerala government had appointed Thomas as the chief secretary,” he said.

Chavan said he will answer all the opposition criticism against him after he returns to Mumbai.

According to party sources, Chavan had a meeting with Ahmed Patel, political secretary to Gandhi, before he met her. He also met Mohan Prakash, the party in-charge of the state.

Meanwhile, opposition parties, especially the Left parties, have sharpened their criticism of Chavan for his role in recommending Thomas as CVC, an appointment which was struck down by the Supreme Court last week.

Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Wednesday had refuted Chavan’s claim that Kerala government had given vigilance clearance to Thomas, saying he had written a letter to Chavan mentioning the charge-sheet against Thomas in a corruption case regarding import of palmoline in the 1990s.

“Chavan is parading naked lies. Kerala government had written to the centre that Thomas was an accused in the palmolein case. When the centre got a drubbing from the Supreme Court in the CVC appointment, the Congress tried to foist the responsibility of the bungle on Kerala,” he said

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