Slamming Congress for “holding democracy to ransom” over the National Herald case, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Saturday that his government has not taken any step in the case.
“Action has so far not been taken. ED has not issued any notice. Tax authorities have not passed any assessment order,” he said at the Aaj Tak Agenda programme. “The government will wait for the outcome of court proceedings. If there is a tax angle, then taxation authorities will ask questions for which there is a due process,” he said.
Jaitley’s remarks came amid a face-off between the government and Opposition Congress, which could hinder passage of crucial bills in Winter Session. The Congress has been stalling procedures in Rajya Sabha, accusing the government of indulging in political vendetta through the National Herald case. The key tax reform bill, GST, is pending before Rajya Sabha in which the Congress is the largest party.
Without naming anyone, Jaitley said Congress leaders have got stuck in a ‘chakravyu’ created by themselves and are now obstructing Parliament over it.
“Their lawyers are not able to help them…and finding themselves in difficulty, they are holding the democracy of the country to ransom,” he said.
“What is the reason for obstructionism today. That some private complaint is filed, a magistrate issues notice, you move the High Court and High Court grants you a stay. After hearing, the High Court dismisses it. Now you either go to trial court or you challenge it in Supreme Court. The government has not interfered in it,” he said.
Meanwhile, BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is proving to be a “lying machine”. “Sonia and Rahul Gandhi have been doing only negative politics for the past 18 months…Rahul Gandhi is proving to be a lying machine. They are trying to defame the PM through chronic lies, showing fake documents in National Herald case and stalling the Parliament,” he said.