It’s a commitment we made earlier: Congress

The Congress on Sunday refused to back down on the ‘snoopgate’ probe despite opinions from within the United Progressive Alliance that a judge should not be appointed now to look into charges that a woman was allegedly stalked at the instance of the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, and his aide Amit Shah.

“It is not a question of timing. It’s a commitment that had been made earlier,” Congress spokeswoman Shobha Ojha said. The party had come out with a set of 10 questions for the BJP, Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah on ‘snoopgate’.

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar had telephoned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday and advised him against appointing a judge at this late stage, NCP leader and Union Minister Praful Patel told The Hindu. “The Cabinet decision to appoint a commission of inquiry should have been implemented earlier,” Mr. Patel said, adding it was an issue of “perception.”

On Twitter, National Conference leader and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, also a UPA ally, said both he and his father, Union Minister Farooq Abdullah, were of the view that it was “just wrong” to set up a commission of inquiry in the “dying hours of UPA-II.”

Responding to the Congress’ contention that the Cabinet had decided to set up such a commission in December, Mr. Abdullah said, “If the decision to appoint a commission was taken in December, it should have been implemented. To appoint a judge five months later is wrong.”

But Mr. Abdullah clarified, “That have (sic) been said, friends of the NDA/BJP shouldn’t read more into this than necessary. NC has no intention of abandoning the UPA.”