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Congress says Arnab’s WhatsApp contents amount to treason

Congress leader and former Defence Minister A.K. Antony. File   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

The Congress on Wednesday stepped up its attack on Republic TV promoter and anchor Arnab Goswami. It said the contents of the leaked Whatsapp chats amounted to ‘treason’ and those responsible for the leak of ‘sensitive military operations’ should be punished.

Referring to an alleged conversation about influencing judicial decisions, the party asked whether “the judiciary will turn a blind eye or set example” to restore the faith of people in the judicial system.

The party fielded former Defence Minister A.K. Antony, former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Law Miniser Salman Khurshid and Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad at a joint press conference in which they asked “Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come clean on the accusations to restore the credibility of the highest office”.

 

“Leaking of official secret is a criminal act. Leaking official secret about military operation, national security matters, sensitive military operations especially military strike is treason, anti-national. They have to be punished for anti-national activities, for treason. They deserve no mercy,” Mr. Antony said, referring to the chat between Mr. Goswami and ex-BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta.

Referring to Mr. Goswami’s alleged WhatsApp conversation in which the issue of ‘buying’ a judge came up, Mr. Khurshid said, “I have no qualms in saying that as the BJP lets loose people to influence judges, unconstitutionally and illegally, what would the judges do? Where it reacts, rightly so, to irresponsible reportage, it reacts with processes of contempt. Will the judiciary turn a blind eye or, to restore the faith and confidence of the people, will the judiciary set an example?”

‘Congress fully backs judiciary’

The former Law Minister, however, stressed that the party “fully backs the judiciary and stands with them”.

Mr. Khurshid sharply criticised the Republic TV anchor for being ‘insensitive’ towards former Union Minister Arun Jaitley, when the latter was on his death bed.

 

A joint statement said, “Never before has India’s national security been so completely compromised. Never before has the office of the Prime Minister, office of the Home Minister, office of the Law Minister, office of the Information and Broadcasting Minister been so brazenly compromised. Never before did our judiciary come under such an attack. Never before has a senior leader been divested of his dignity in his death. Does the Prime Minister, Home Minister in fact the entire Government have any moral, political, constitutional right to continue in office after such damning revelations?”

While Mr. Shinde said the party would raise the issue in the Budget session of Parliament that starts on January 29, Mr. Azad was non-committal on demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe.

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Printable version | Mar 2, 2021 2:06:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/leaking-of-official-secret-of-military-ops-is-treason-ak-antony/article33616684.ece

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