Two days after it attacked the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) by questioning the credibility of its report on the coal blocks allocation, the Congress Wednesday said it respected the constitutional body but said it should not stray out of its jurisdiction.
"We have never criticised the CAG. We respect constitutional bodies but no constitutional body should come out of its jurisdiction. Policy-making is the responsibility of the government," Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi told reporters.
The reaction came after a BJP delegation sought the intervention of President Pranab Mukherjee in the matter. The CAG in a recent report said that private players had made windfall gains worth Rs.1.85 lakh crore in the 142 coal blocks allocated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government 2006-09.
The Congress had questioned the credibility of the report Monday.
"Is it a meeting of minds of the CAG and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)? Is it solely a coincidence or there is more to it," Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari had said.
"Is the CAG misusing its credibility? If it is so, the question is why," he had asked.
Alvi said: "Rather than debating the issue in parliament, the BJP is levelling baseless allegations." He pointed out that former BJP minister Arun Shourie had termed a CAG report on the sale of Centaur Hotel as "idiotic".
The Congress also cited a recent Supreme Court order quashing a PIL saying the Public Accounts Committee would debate the CAG report which will then go to parliament and that it would not form a final opinion on the basis of the auditor's report.
The BJP did not allow parliament to function during the monsoon session by demanding Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation over the issue and cancellation of the allocated coal blocks.