New Delhi, Feb 3: Responding to Union Minister Arun Jaitley's charge that Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun kharge was abusing the power of dissent in appointment of the CBI chief, the party on Sunday said that as a member of the high powered committee for the appointment of the CBI director, Mr Kharge had full right to give his dissent.
Talking to reporters here, AICC spokesperson Pawan Khera expressed surprise that despite not being a member of the committee, Mr Jaitley was speaking on the issue.
'' Mr Jaitley is not a member of the committee, yet he is speaking on an issue pertaining to the committee. Mr Kharge is a member of the high powered committee for the appointment of the CBI director and in this capacity , he can express his dissent on the issue. In this regard, he can also write a dissent note,'' Mr Khera said.
He said that Mr Jaitley has a habit of speaking on issues on which he is not supposed to speak while remaining silent on issues which need his attention.
He also alleged that Mr Jaitley's opinion does not matter in the government.
''He has not even presented the budget. Also, whatever things he had said about the budget have not been included in the document. Thus shows that his voice is not being heard,'' Mr Khera said.
He said that the happenings in the CBI during the current regime has shaken people's faith in the institution.
Union Minister and BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday lashed out at the Congress floor leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge for abusing the power of 'dissent' in the Collegium for appointment of CBI chief and said the right to give such a note should never be made a 'political tool'.
Mr Jaitley also said - Mr Kharge was a petitioner in the Supreme Court himself in support of Alok Verma.
"He should have recused himself from the Committee since his views were known. He suffered from a bias and conflict of interest. Yet he did not recuse himself," wrote the Union Minister.
"A dissent should never be a political tool," wrote Mr Jaitley in a blog posted on Facebook from the United States where he is undergoing treatment.
"Dissents are a powerful instrument in democracy. ......The right to dissent is sacrosanct and has to be sparingly used," he wrote adding - "If a dissenter dissents on every conceivable occasion he comes out as a person either motivated by collateral reasons or as a person lacking objectivity".
The strong reactions from the senior Minister in the Modi cabinet comes hours after Mr Kharge alleged that the PM Narendra Modi-led panel diluted the required criteria for the selection of the CBI director, thus violating the spirit of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act and the Supreme court guidelines.
In fact, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday evening also sought to target Prime Minister for appointment of Madhya Pradesh cadre IPS officer Rishi Kumar Shukla as the new CBI boss and compared it with choice of Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence as the offset partner in the Rafale deal. (UNI)