New Delhi, Nov 13: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that there is no ‘urgent need' to consider changes in the process of appointment of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), and the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and other Election Commissioners (ECs).
In a letter to Communist Party of India MP Gurudas Dasgupta, Dr. Singh said, the procedure for appointment to these constitutional posts had been in existence for a long period and was followed by the earlier governments.
Dasgupta had written to the PM suggesting that there should be a three-member collegium, comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India, to choose the CEC and the CAG.
Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani had suggested a five-member panel and Dasgupta consulted the leaders of the principal Opposition party before taking up the matter with the Prime Minister.
Dr. Singh, in his letter, said the government was open to changes in the process of appointment, resignation and removal of ECs, including the CEC, as part of electoral reforms.
“I would like to point out that the procedure for appointment, resignation and removal of [the] Chief Election Commissioner and other Election Commissioners, as laid down by the government… has been in existence for a long period… Any change in the procedure… would require wide ranging discussions with other political parties. This, if necessary, can be taken up as a part of the agenda for electoral reforms.”
The Prime Minister said the CAG's reports were examined by a parliamentary committee, which made recommendations to the executive for corrective action, if any.
“The chairman of the Public Accounts Committee has traditionally been a member of the main Opposition party. In view of this, there does not seem to be any urgent need to set up a committee for appointment of CAG.”