Maya and SP blunt BJP’s Vadra attack

Land deal: BJP raises issue in Houses; fails to get non-NDA support; Left and JD(U) quiet.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: August 14, 2013 2:29 am

The BJP,which had decided to use the Robert Vadra-DLF land deal controversy to target Congress president Sonia Gandhi,faced opposition from non-NDA parties on Tuesday. While the SP and BSP openly supported Sonia,the Left parties and JD(U) took a passive stand,seeming to outline the contours of future political alignments.

In the morning,the BJP and its allies disrupted proceedings in both houses of parliament. But in the absence of support from other parties,it had to allow normal transaction of business in the second half. Top BJP functionaries said the party wanted to continue to raise the issue in parliament but,given the reluctance of other parties,it may be forced to take it up in public fora outside parliament.

“I would like to say that if Sonia is held responsible,our party does not agree with it. If someone does something wrong,his or her relations should not be punished. On the allegations against Vadra,how can Sonia be held responsible?” said BSP supremo Mayawati.

SP leader Naresh Aggarwal said the BJP was “politicising” the issue. “I don’t agree with the BJP’s slogan of ‘sarkari damaad’. We are not in agreement with the politicisation of the issue and dragging Sonia into it. I don’t see how she can be held responsible,” he said.

While maintaining that it was a “serious issue of corruption”,senior CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said it cannot be discussed in parliament as it is a state subject. “It is a serious case of corruption. Link with people in high places is also a factor…All culprits should be brought to book,” he said.

But CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia maintained that there was nothing wrong in the issue being raised in parliament. “If there is any misuse of power or any irregularity,members have the right to raise it,” he said. Seeking a judicial probe into the “fraudulent land deal”,he said “action should be taken against the guilty,whosoever he may be.”

Senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury also said that all cases of corruption must be probed and the guilty punished. These issues must also be discussed in the house,he said. The party’s Rajya Sabha members,however,chose to watch silently when NDA and AIADMK members raised the issue in the house.

Raising the issue in the Lok Sabha,senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said,“There are several business schools across the world that come out with business models about how to maximise profits and expand the business. But in our country,there is a person who has not even been to a business school but has come out with a business model to make thousands of crores in windfall profit out of thin air.”

Ruling party MPs then trooped into the well of the house and disrupted the proceedings. BJP members started shouted slogans like “Congress ka haath,damaad ka saath”. Congress members indulged in counter-sloganeering of “Congress ka haath,Soniaji ke saath”,“Congress ka haath,desh ke saath”,and “Congress ka haath,garib ke saath”, forcing the chair to adjourn the house till noon. Similar scenes were witnessed when the house re-assembled,and it was adjourned again.

Speaking to mediapersons later,Sinha said,“We are demanding a special investigating team to probe the Vadra land deals,It should be monitored by the Supreme Court so that the truth comes out and the guilty are punished. Banking law is a government issue,serious frauds investigation office is under the government,banking is a central subject and so is income tax. We are acting as per the law by raising it in parliament… All his (Vadra’s) deals in the Congress-ruled states of Haryana,Delhi and Rajasthan should be probed.” Taking a dig at the Congress,he said the party should open a “Vadra school of management”.

With the NDA isolated on the Vadra issue,the ruling Congress is learnt to have decided to take an aggressive stand and is not inclined to allow any discussion on the issue in parliament. The Congress maintained that the issue cannot be discussed in parliament and asked Sinha to move court or approach the Haryana government.

Without taking Vadra’s name,Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Haryana IAS officer Ashok Khemka passed the order without hearing the particular individual. “The principles of natural justice ordain that if at all you decide to pass an order against a particular individual,you give him a right to be heard. You do not pass ex parte orders in clear breach of every propriety of jurisprudence. For lack of a better word,it can only be termed as an administrative overreach,” he said.

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