Sonia’s response apt: Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath

Kamal Nath   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

Congress president had cited former PM Indira Gandhi to strike a defiant note

Former Union Minister Kamal Nath has said the criticism being faced by Congress president Sonia Gandhi for alleging political vendetta against the party in the National Herald case is not warranted.

The Congress stand is not an effort at reviving memories of the Shah Commission (1976) but only an “appropriate response” in the circumstances. The Congress president had invoked the name of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to strike a defiant note as a Delhi court refused to grant her and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi exemption from personal appearance in the case. The vendetta charge and the Congress’s disruption of Parliament in the winter session are being looked at as a way of drawing a historical parallel between Indira Gandhi’s handling of the Shah Commission enquiry against her, and this.

“This is not a question of what will work politically or not, it is a question of what is appropriate,” Mr. Kamal Nath told The Hindu.

'There is a pattern of vendetta'

Mr. Nath said Ms. Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi were not hesitating to appear in court. “The fact that both the Congress president and vice-president have not moved the Supreme Court for an exemption from personal appearance is a legal issue and their legal advisers will look into it,” Mr. Kamal Nath told The Hindu.

“What we are concerned about and what other political parties are concerned about is the fact that the Enforcement Directorate had closed the case and was asked to reopen it. That is the other aspect to the issue and not connected to the court case. This is the pattern of vendetta we see in the cases against Sachin Pilot, Virbhadra Singh, Ashok Gehlot and other members of the party that we are talking about,” Mr. Kamal Nath said.

He said something nefarious was being alleged in the National Herald case when “the reorganisation of the company, entailing setting up a company under Section 25, was done in a transparent manner, and in fact secured the assets of Associated Journals Limited.”

House strategy

He dismissed suggestions that veterans in the party were not on the same page as Mr. Rahul Gandhi when it came to parliamentary strategy. “We are all agreed on what needs to be done. We have a meeting every morning during the session and discuss the strategy. Not just us, other political parties are supporting us, and others are not opposing our strategy,” Mr. Kamal Nath said.

“It took the government 18 months to speak to us. They need to learn that Parliament does not run by majority, but by talking to all parties. I recall that when I was Parliamentary Affairs Minister, the BJP decided to oppose the GST Bill because they were not in the mood to clear it, not because of any specific issue in the Bill. The BJP set the tone for disruption, and now they should be guided by the norms of running the House.”

“My advice to the Parliamentary Affairs Minister is to constantly engage with the Opposition, and address their concerns,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 11:04:34 PM |

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