New Delhi: The Congress core group meets on Thursday evening at party President Sonia Gandhi's residence to discuss the Supreme Court order striking down PJ Thomas' appointment as the Central Vigilance Commissioner. The order has come as a big blow to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government which had on January 27, 2011 made an embarrassing claim in the Supreme Court that it was not aware of the full facts of the allegations against Thomas when his name was cleared for the post of CVC.
Sources have told CNN-IBN that there is no question of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Home Minister P Chidambaram resigning following the Supreme Court verdict. The Prime Minister said he respected the Supreme Court verdict on Thomas.
Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office V Narayanswamy along with some other trouble shooters of the Government have already met to discuss the issue.
Moily has already said that the Prime Minister committed no illegality while appointing PJ Thomas as the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.
"PJ Thomas has resigned. The Prime Minister committed no illegality, he followed a set process. The process needs to be reviewed. I don't think the court passed the strictures that the Opposition claims it did," said Moily
"We would like to look at the judgement and then come out with a rectification. We are here to rectify and move forward," he said.
Welcoming the Supreme Court verdict, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said that now there is a question mark over the credibility of the Prime Minister.
"The Prime Minister is personally culpable. The Supreme Court judgement is a landmark judgement. It's a huge blow to the credibility of the Prime Minister. He is personally culpable because he was party to the wrong decision," said senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
"This is the biggest blow to UPA, to Manmohan Singh, to Sonia Gandhi and the Congress government," said another BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy.
Arun Jaitely, Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, demanded an explanation on the controversy surrounding Thomas.
"Today the appointment of the CVC has been struck down on the grounds on the fact that the criteria of corruption in his own case was not applied by the Government. It is a very important issue. In one sense, it vindicates a great national aspiration, its a serious fixture against the government. And therefore, is the government going to fix accountability for how and why it happened. We would like the government to come out with a statement on this issue," said Jaitley.
Communist Party of India (Marxist) Politburo member Sitaram Yechury criticised the Central Government for appointing Thomas as the CVC despite his name figuring as an accused in the palmoline export scam in Kerala.
"This vindicates the position we took from day one," said Sitaram.
Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav demanded the resignation of Home Minister P Chidambaram.
"I welcome the Supreme Court verdict. The Home Minister should take moral responsibility and resign. The appointment of CVC was not done with consensus," said Yadav.