Cong attacks govt, says Swamy is Modi’s ‘mask’
New Delhi : In the backdrop of National Herald case, Congress today launched a no-holds barred attack against government, accusing it of resorting to “unprecedented” level of vendetta politics and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying the petitioner Subramanian Swamy was his “mask”.
Just before Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi were to appear before a court here, a host of party leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge, Anand Sharma and Randeep Singh Surjewala, addressed the media to attack the NDA government, particularly Modi.
Azad said Congress was not afraid of “targeting” by the Modi dispensation and asserted that the more the party is attacked, the sooner it will return to power.
“The BJP government is resorting to unprecedented level of vendetta politics. The country has never seen this kind of politics. We will fight out the battle,” said the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.
Calling Swamy a “mask” for Modi, he said the BJP functionary has been awarded with a bungalow for dragging Congress leadership to court even though he was not a Parliamentarian or government official.
“He (Swamy) has been placed under Z-category and allotted a government bungalow. He is not a member of the Parliament nor from a border state. He is not facing any threat from any terrorist organisation….The bungalow was given as an award for dragging the Congress leadership to court,” said Azad.
He said the country has seen “unprecedented level” of vendetta politics since BJP came to power at the Centre and cited CBI raid against Himachal Chief Minister, “conspiracy” to bring down Congress government in Arunachal and raid at the Delhi Secretariat.
“Before elections, BJP had given a call for Congress-free India, now they are trying to have a Opposition-free India: Congress,” he said.
Asserting that Congress was not scared of any action by the government, Azad said the party had fought against the “mighty British” unlike the BJP.
The Congress leader said his party is ready to “fight” against the government on the streets as well in the courts and in this context, invoked Indira Gandhi who had been sent to jail by opponents and Shah Commission set up against her.
The government which sent Indira Gandhi to jail lasted for only over two years and people brought her to power again, he said.
“We have confidence in the country’s judiciary and the Constitution,” said Azad.
Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge too said Congress has faith in judiciary.
He said that while government has been alleging that Congress has not let Parliament to function, it staged walk outs only when there were real issues.
Kharge said the government’s reponse on issues like Gen V K Singh’s remarks, Arunachal issue or tolerance debate had been unsatisfactory because of which the Congress had to take such a stance.
Anand Sharma charged the government with abusing official agencies and instruments to unleash “politics of vendetta against principal opposition party.
The Congress leader alleged “selective targeting” of leaders of opposition and said “unleashing of politics of vendetta must be disapproved by all.”
He said, “If anybody is saying that there is no abuse of agency and instruments of the state, then they are lying. If BJP and the Prime Minister were to say that there is no link between him and his government with Subramanian Swamy, then that is not the truth.”
Sharma was asked why Congress was charging BJP of vendetta politics when it was court which had issued summons to its leaders. “That’s not true. There are events which overtake,” he replied.
“In a democracy you can have ideological differences, you can have differences of approach but that must not lead to bitterness that this country is seeing,” he said.
Refusing to comment on court summons, Sharma said, “I’m not getting into that. Those issues would be handled there (in court).”
The Congress leader also raised the issue of limbs of two Dalits being chopped allegedly in Akali leader’s house in Punjab as well as the role of Arunachal Pradesh Governor in igniting a political crisis in the state.
“What happened in Punjab? What happened on Dalit issue? Should opposition be silent? Not only the Congress but the other rest of the opposition (should they be silent),” he asked.
On the Arunachal crisis, he said, “Who asked them to do what they did in Arunachal? It is Government of India… You make makeshift assemblies in dance bars, and restaurants and send central paramilitary forces. Such farcical exercises is blatant assault on Constitution and opposition is meant to be celebrating silent. “I am sorry these are developments which are very serious and have far reaching implications for India’s Constitutional democracy and therefore these will be resisted,” he said.
Opposition BJP and rebel Congress MLAs had on Thursday got together in a hotel in Itanagar to “vote out” the Nabam Tuki-led Congress government and to elect a rebel Congress MLA as the new chief minister.