Chennai: In a major turn of event, DMK chief M Karunanidhi on Tuesday backed senior BJP leader LK Advani’s demand for introducing a broad-based collegium system for the appointment of Election Commissioners and Comptroller and Auditor General. He also said that the Centre must take decision at the earliest in this regard by saying Advani’s views could not be ignored.

"I am also in agreement with the contents in the letter (of Advani). It cannot be ignored just because it is the opposition view," the DMK patriarch said writing in the party mouthpiece Murasoli.

Karunanidhi, whose DMK is a key UPA ally, said, "Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the central government will accord importance to the opinion and consider those views."

Advani, in a letter to the Prime Minister on Sunday, had voiced concern over the present system of appointment by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister. He had suggested that posts like Election Commissioner and Comptroller and Auditor General of India be appointed by the "broad-based collegium," comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, the Law Minister and the Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

Advani had written to the Prime Minister suggesting opposition involvement in selection of CEC and CAG, saying the current system was open to "manipulation and partisanship".

CPI(M) backs Advani’s view

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechuri told reporters in Shimla that his party agreed with Advani that there should be a collegium for appointments of Election Commissioners and CAG on the pattern of Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

It was the stated stand of CPI (M) that such appointments should be made by a collegium consisting of representatives of the President, the Vice President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, he added.

Advani had in a letter to the Prime Minister on Sunday voiced concern over the present system of appointment by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister.

He had suggested that posts like Election Commissioner and Comptroller and Auditor General of India be appointed by the "broad-based collegium," comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, the Law Minister and the Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha.

(JPN/Agencies)

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