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How Congress plans to wash out the Winter Session with a little help from Mamata

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 12:27 IST
  • Ever since the court asked Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi to appear before it on 19 December in the National Herald case, the Parliament hasn\'t been able to function.
  • Two days of the Winter Session have been lost due to Congress\' allegations of \"political vendetta\".
  • However, the party is in no mood to relent. In fact, it is trying to turn the National Herald issue into a larger debate on how the \"BJP uses the ED or CBI\" against political rivals.
  • But will they be successful in convincing other parties to join them in a cause that seemingly benefits no one other than the Gandhis?

Yesterday, the Patiala House Court's summons to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case stalled both houses of Parliament. It was a repeat performance today as the Congress yet again raised the issue, which led to multiple adjournments in Parliament.

The party is now working towards garnering support for the cause and continue disruptions in Parliament in the coming days.

Here's what the leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said during a brief but aggressive discussion on the issue:

  • BJP is using the Enforcement Directorate against political rivals against every state.
  • They have done that to TMC, SP, BSP and Left Parties.
  • He said that in August the ED had shut the National Herald case citing technical reasons.
  • After a new person was appointed, the ED reopened the case on the directions of the government and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who had filed the case against the Gandhis.
  • Now, is this not political vendetta?

BJP's reaction

BJP countered these allegations saying the National Herald case was essentially a legal fight between two individuals and the Government had no hand in it. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, responding to Azad's allegations, said:

"Congress doesn't believe in the politics of development or care for SCs/STs or corruption. That's why they were stalling Parliament on a private matter. With this, the Congress has jumped into a well without any exit route."

TMC first to support Parliament adjournment

  • TMC has surprisingly come on board with the Congress cause.
  • Reacting to the development, Mamata reportedly said: "It was a little too much for Sonia and Rahul to appear before the Court."
  • TMC MP Derek O'Brain, speaking in the Rajya Sabha, asked, "If the issue is not debated in Parliament then where do we go?" Clearly, speaking in the same tone as Congress.
  • TMC, too has been crying "political conspiracy" and "political vendetta" because of the Saradha scam investigation.
  • The Congress is trying to garner political support from SP, BSP and Left parties too.
  • In September, Mayawati claimed that the Centre was using the CBI to harass her. This was when the CBI questioned her in connection with the NHRM scam.

However, it remains to be seen if other parties would be willing to come on board on an issue that basically concerns Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. Plus, with many states lending support to the GST bill, will other Opposition parties be open to the prospect of an entire session being washed out because of an issue that is primarily putting only two individuals on the backfoot.

First published: 9 December 2015, 4:48 IST