THE Congress on Thursday issued a rare public appeal to its leaders and workers, asking them not to come to the national capital on Saturday — the day party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi appear in court in the National Herald case. The move is seen as an attempt to send out a message that it was not making the court appearance a media spectacle.
Party leaders, however, said they can only advise and appeal and cannot prevent anyone from coming to Delhi or to its party headquarters 24, Akbar Road. Sources said the party considered the options of organising a show of strength or a solidarity parade to the court, but it was at the same time circumspect and cautious since it is a court matter and the party should not be seen as challenging the court.
It has, however, asked all its MPs to be in Delhi on Saturday, although Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad insisted it was to ensure a healthy attendance in both the Houses next week. He, however, did not deny that all the MPs have been asked to come to AICC headquarters at 1 pm. “Where should we call them? Should we call them to BJP headquarters?” he said.
“The Congress has made it clear to everybody that no leader or office-bearer or worker… they need not and should not come to Delhi on 19th. No leader should come to Delhi. We are requesting all the leaders not to come to Delhi,” he said.
The party said it has not taken any decision on the Gandhis not applying for bail and sources said the Congress will explore all legal remedies, which very much include bail.
“There are two days. There is still time (for the decision to be taken). To take bail or not
these things cannot be said in a press conference. The decision will be taken on the spot and we will act in accordance with what advice the lawyers will give,” Azad said.
Azad said the party chief, vice-president and the entire leadership of the party have full faith in judiciary and the law of the land. “Whatever we shall have to do, whatever instruments we have to use, we will use” in the case, he said.