Days after the CBI registered an FIR against former Haryana chief minister B S Hooda over the allotment of land to Associated Journals Limited, publisher of The National Herald, the Congress disrupted Rajya Sabha Monday accusing the BJP government of misusing the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate to target political opponents. The House was adjourned twice.
Raising the issue during zero hour, Congress deputy floor leader Anand Sharma said every government at the Centre and in the states since Independence have taken decisions for allotment of plots of land on concessional rate for newspapers, journals and magazines. He said there is “selective targeting” of former chief ministers in “abuse of authority (and) misuse of power”.
Apart from the FIR filed against Hooda and others, the Congress was agitating also over the attachment of a Delhi farmhouse owned by Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in connection with an alleged money-laundering case.
Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said the CBI and the ED is being unleashed against non-BJP chief ministers. “This is a very important subject. We must have a discussion… The wrongdoings of the BJP chief ministers… nobody is looking into that. They are protecting their chief minister and this government has let loose the ED and CBI on opposition parties. Is this democracy?”
Sharma said, “FIRs are being registered against chief ministers, whereas this government is protecting the wrongdoings of its own CMs… The lands they have given in Maharashtra and MP in the name of newspapers, commercial complexes have come up.”
He said enforcement agencies such as CBI and ED are being used for political vendetta. Referring to allotment of land to Associated Journals in Haryana, he said land has now been given to commercial entity Patanjali “in the name of a herbal park”. The Congress demanded a discussion in Rajya Sabha.
“There cannot be two sets of laws, rules and standards… We want a discussion… It is a serious matter,” Sharma said. Congress members came into the well and chanted slogans, resulting in adjournments twice. Deputy chairman P J Kurien said the wrongdoings of CMs have to be discussed in the assemblies, not in Parliament.