Advani Vetoed Govt's Pick For CICThe UPA wanted to install information commissioner M A Ansari as the next CIC following Wajahat Habibullah's acceptance of the J&K state information commissioner's post but leader of Opposition L K Advani, it is learnt,
The UPA wanted to install information commissioner M A Ansari as the next CIC following Wajahat Habibullah's acceptance of the J&K state information commissioner's post but leader of Opposition L K Advani, it is learnt, objected to the government's choice, reports Times of India.
The process of choosing a consensus candidate for the post will now be taken up at a meeting after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returns from his US trip.
The PM had called a meeting last week to decide on the CIC, and it was attended by Advani, law minister Veerappa Moily and minister of state in PMO Prithviraj Chavan. The two names that were put forward by the government for the CIC's post were that of the two serving information commissioners — M A Ansari and A N Tiwari — of which the government's preference was for Ansari, it is learnt.
Advani objected to the names of both Ansari and Tiwari and said that if the government went ahead with any of these, he would not give a dissenting note, that could embarrass the government, but he would abstain from voting.
At the suggestion, Moily and Chavan are learnt to have promptly got up to close the case with Ansari's name. But Advani told the PM that since the government would not announce his abstention, it would seem that the BJP leader was party to the decision. The PM saw the point and agreed to delay the decision and have a consensus candidate in place, it is learnt.
Advani argued that there had been considerable delay in finalising the new CIC and a few more days would not really matter to which the PM agreed, it is learnt.
The PM also accepted Advani's suggestion that a shortlist of candidates be drawn up before the next meeting so that the new CIC could be chosen from among them.
Advani, it is learnt, also said he had no objections to either retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi or RTI activist Shekhar Singh, whose names have cropped up for the post.
It has been decided that Moily will consult senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley to draw up a panel of names to be considered. Moily has still to meet Jaitley with the names.