Rahul Gandhi sharpened the attack on the government. “It is one hundred per cent political vendetta. Pure political vendetta coming out of PMO. It is their way of doing politics,” he told reporters.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in Rajya Sabha
The acrimony in the government and Congress relations intensified on Wednesday as the National Herald case disrupted Parliament for the second day. Both sides hardened positions inside and outside Parliament, leaving a question mark on the fate of the session, in which the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill was to be passed.The government was waiting for Congress president Sonia Gandhi to return from her US trip to begin talks on GST, which was listed in Rajya Sabha this week. However, now she has taken the lead in the Congress strategy on the National Herald case, which the Congress has dubbed as political vendetta.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With frequent disruptions in the Upper House, it was finally adjourned for the day without transacting any business. Though Lok Sabha too witnessed uproar, there was just one adjournment in the House which managed to conduct some business, including zero hour and continuation of discussion on drought.While Congress alleged that it was a 100 per cent case of political vendetta from PMO, the government rejected the charge saying the Opposition party was using Parliament to “intidimate and silence” the judiciary as Sonia and Rahul Gandhi were not given relief by the Court in the National Herald case.Rahul Gandhi sharpened the attack on the government. “It is one hundred per cent political vendetta. Pure political vendetta coming out of PMO. It is their way of doing politics,” he told reporters.At a press conference, parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu dubbed Congress as the “fountainhead of mobocracy” of India politics, saying it was stalling legislative business by “derailing” the functioning of Parliament over court summons.He said other Opposition parties, including Nitish Kumar’s JD-U and SP, were in favour of the GST. The Bihar chief minister who met Naidu at a lunch conveyed to him that he would support GST and that he was against the cap being included in the Constitution, sources said.On the fate of GST Bill, which has been listed for passage in the Rajya Sabha this week, Naidu said it depended on how other political parties reacted and how public opinion shaped up. However, according to sources, the government now appeared reconciled that it may find it tough to get the bill passed in the session, with time running out amidst the standoff.To a question about the TMC supporting Congress on its “vendetta politics” stand, Naidu said “no sensible party or person can support this stand of Congress. Its programme is disruption, disruption, disruption.”Before the House met, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted wishing Congress president Sonia Gandhi on her birthday. “Greetings to Congress president Smt Sonia Gandhi. May Almighty bless her with long life and good health,” he said.As Rajya Sabha met. Congress members rushed into the Well shouting slogans: “Modi teri tanashahi nahi chalegi, nahi chalegi (dictatorship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not be tolerated).” BJP seeks Virbhadra’s removalNew Delhi: Stepping up its attack on Virbhadra Singh, a high-level BJP delegation on Wednesday met President Pranab Mukherjee and handed over a memorandum demanding removal of the Himachal Pradesh chief minister after CBI and Enforcement Directorate booked him for graft.The delegation included Union minister J P Nadda, former Himachal chief ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal, party MPs from the state, besides BJP’s state unit incharge Shrikant Sharma and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha president Anurag Thakur.”This is probably the first time in the history of the country that raids have been conducted at the residence of a sitting chief minister. The administration and the government is in a coma. No work is happening and chief minister is busy defending himself.”The party is busy defending him and party leaders are fighting the race for his succession. In such a situation a small hill state like Himachal is suffering. We have demanded that the President remove Virbhadra Singh on moral grounds,” Shanta Kumar told reporters after meeting the President.