Day 2: Congress stalls Rajya Sabha

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accuses central government of misusing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for reopening the case

New Delhi: The National Herald case stalled the Rajya Sabha for the second day yesterday as soon as the house met at 11 am after Congress members stormed the chairman's podium raising the issue of summons to party president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Congress workers in Kolkata burn an effigy of PM Modi during a protest against Centre regarding the National Herald case yesterday. Pic/PTI
Congress workers in Kolkata burn an effigy of PM Modi during a protest against Centre regarding the National Herald case yesterday. Pic/PTI

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad accused the government for misusing the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in getting the case reopened. "ED had shut the case. Subramanian Swamy and the government got it reopened," Azad said, adding, "We have no charges against the judiciary... It is not the fault of the court, but of this government... which changed the ED who reopened the case. So my charge is that on the direction of the government, the cases against all opposition leaders are being reopened, even if they are small cases."

Azad's comments came just before the house was adjourned for the day around 3.15 pm. "Democracy is being murdered so this is the best platform to raise the issue, in the temple of democracy," he said.

However, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi countered Azad stating that the Opposition should start a discussion rather than creating a ruckus. The Congress members chanted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

PMO venting out political vendetta: Rahul

New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi yesterday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the National Herald case row, saying ‘political vendetta’ against his party was coming out of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

Rahul Gandhi

Talking to reporters, Gandhi said he has full faith in the judicial system and that the truth will prevail. "(This is) one hundred per cent political vendetta, pure political vendetta coming out of the PM Office. This is what it is. This is their way of doing politics. Pure one hundred per cent vendetta. I have full faith in legal system of this country and we will see in the end what comes out. The truth will come out." he said. Asked whether the Congress was trying to threaten judiciary with its protest in the Parliament, Gandhi shot back saying it was the other way round. "Who is threatening judiciary we all know," he said.

Produce evidence: BJP dares Congress
New Delhi: The BJP yesterday challenged the Congress to produce evidence in the Parliament about their allegations that the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) was indulging in ‘political vendetta’ in the National Herald case.

Rajiv Pratap Rudy

"We are challenging the Congress that whatever allegations Rahul Gandhi has levelled against the court and the PMO, he must produce all the evidences regarding this in the house and in front of the nation. We challenge them. We can understand, in such a situation when they have been summoned by the court, out of anxiety, they are making statements which are undemocratic," said Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy.

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