Summoned in the National Herald case along with his mother, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi targeted the Prime Minister’s Office directly Wednesday as his party continued to accuse the government of political vendetta.
“One hundred per cent political vendetta. Pure political vendetta coming out of PMO. It is their way of doing politics. Pure 100 per cent vendetta,” Rahul said outside Parliament. “I have full faith in judiciary. We will see at the end what comes out. Truth will come out.”
For the government, the response came from Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, who asked if Rahul, with his allegation of “vendetta coming out of PMO”, had meant the office of former prime minister Manmohan Singh because the case was filed during that regime.
At a press conference, Naidu said the Congress practice of “mobocracy” posed a “danger to democracy by making Parliament dysfunctional”. “How is Parliament involved if some people have been summoned by a court?,” Naidu said. “You want to silence the judiciary. You want to intimidate the judiciary. You are telling the judiciary, how dare you summon us.”
To this charge, Rahul replied, “It is the other way round. Who is threatening judiciary, we all know.”
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Naidu said Subramanian Swamy was not in the BJP when he filed the case, in which the government had not filed any affidavit nor had any government advocate appeared. He suggested to the Gandhis that they engage “some good lawyers who can effectively argue in the court”, and not the kind who had talked of a zero loss in the 2-G case (Kapil Sibal) and been proved wrong later.
The Congress, he said, was settling scores with people by paralysing Parliament and blocking legislation because they had voted it out in the elections. “The Congress thinks it is hurting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but it is hurting India.”