Congress showed no signs of backing down on the National Herald issue when it disrupted Rajya Sabha for the fourth straight day and Rahul Gandhi continued to insist that it was “driven by the prime minister’s office”.
Alleging “vendetta politics”, Congress continued their stalling tactics in the upper house by resorting to slogan shouting in the Well and not allowing business to be transacted.
The House was adjourned repeatedly because of the ruckus created by the Congress members soon after the House met for the day with several of them trooping into the Well shouting slogans.
“Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (Dictatorship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be tolerated)” and “Hitlershahi nahi chalegi (Hitler-like attitude will not be tolerated), they shouted in a chorus.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukthar Abbas Naqvi said, “we are hearing voices (in the House) like those in a zoo.” He said it was unparliamentary.
“We are very concerned about Congress members. We also feel pity on them. Let Leader of Opposition get some medicine for his party members so that their throat is clear. Today one week has passed. Earlier they used to shout slogans.
“Now they are only saying HO HO. We are very much concerned about their throat. Mr LOP give them some medicine so that their throat is fine,” Naqvi said in a sarcastic note.
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi, who is a co accused in the case with his mother Sonia Gandhi, alleged in Guwahati that the case was “driven by the Prime Minister’s office”.
“It is being driven by the Prime Minister’s office,” he claimed while responding to reporters’ questions whether the National Herald case was an outcome of vendetta politics.
Rahul said, “We have faith in the legal system and we respect it. There is a legal provision. It (National Herald) is a not-for-profit organisation and not a paisa can be taken out.”
Asked if he would be applying for bail, he replied, “Let’s see what happens on December 19.”
On Congress protests which resulted in the stalling of proceedings in Parliament, Rahul said, “As far as the stalemate in Parliament is concerned, an impression is being given that we (Congress) are not interested on the GST issue. We have told the government that we have differences with them on three issues.”
Under attack over stalling Parliament, Congress today accused the government of creating this “perception” against his party.
In response, the ruling BJP-led dispensation said if the Congress wants to dispel this impression, then it should ensure that Parliament functions smoothly from Monday.
Elaborating the reasons for stalling Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said “from the government side, it has been presented that Congress is not allowing Parliament to function due to the National Herald case. I have clarified twice.”
“Neither print media nor TV took note of this. Stalling of Parliament is not related to the National Herald case in court. This is the impression created. I have clarified earlier,” he said.
He also mentioned that the Parliament proceedings were stalled for two days due to the ‘dog’ remark by Union Minister V K Singh. “The proceedings were stalled later for three days and the reasons are different.”
The party wanted some action against the concerned minister but no action has yet been taken, he added.
Stating that the Monsoon Session too did not function smoothly due to various reasons, Azad said “the last session was washed out due to issues relating to chief ministers of Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Madhra Pradesh. We wanted action. But action was not taken.”
“We wanted some action to be taken against the concerned person. No notice, no action has been taken. …You take action against parties like TMC and NCP,” he added.
To this, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi said, “the Leader of Opposition talks about perception been created. But that perception exists. You better set that perception right.”
“If you want to dispel the impression that this is not due to the National Herald case, let the House run smoothly from Monday,” he added.
Escalating its attack on the Congress, the BJP has brought out a booklet titled ‘Family Greed and National Blackmail’ that aims to “inform” its party leaders about the issue.
The party will distribute the booklet, which is a compilation of a number of write-ups on the issue, among its MPs and leaders across the country to “inform” them on the issue and give them “talking points”, the BJP parliamentary party said.