With Digvijay Singh causing a flutter by targeting Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai and suggesting that he has a political agenda, the government on Friday said there was no need for Constitutional authorities to be "touchy and sensitive" about criticism.
"Parliament and prime minister are also Constitutional authorities. When fault could be found with them, why should we be so touchy and sensitive when there is a comment on any other Constitutional authority," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters.
Bansal prefaced his remarks by saying, "Digvijay Singh is not a member of the government. He is an important functionary and a senior leader of the Congress. He knows what he is saying and he has the right to say whatever he feels."
The minister said that if a citizen like him comments on the functioning of a Constitutional authority, then that should be taken in the "right spirit in a democracy".
He, however, said that as far as the government is concerned, it has maintained the reasoning and conclusions arrived at on the basis of certain presumptions by the CAG are "disputable".
Bansal's remarks came close on the heels of the Congress general secretary targeting Rai, suggesting he has a political agenda like one of his controversial predecessors T N Chaturvedi, who had given a report on Bofors issue and soon after joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Hitting out at the national audit body for computing "imaginative losses" in coal blocks allocation and setting a precedent by going to press, Singh had said, "I am reminded somewhat of the history of Chaturvedi, whenever I hear about him (Rai)."