Sonia Gandhi talks tough; takes on PM over “silence”

RSTV Bureau
Sonia-in-Lok-Sabha

File photo of Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Lok Sabha during an on-going Monsoon session.

Sonia Gandhi has taken a tough line against Narendra Modi government reiterating the party’s demand seeking resignation of top BJP leaders facing the heat of allegations in Lalit Modi issue and ‘Vyapam’ scam. The Congress President was speaking at the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meet on Monday morning ahead of the all-party meeting slated to be held later in the day.

“We are raising very important issue with strong evidence, but the government is unwilling to take action in this regard,” said Ms Gandhi addressing her party MPs and leaders.

“Government (is) using numerical strength as a source of arrogance rather than responsibility, trying to substitute investigation by mere discussion. This is unacceptable,” she asserted strongly.

The CPP meeting was held with an agenda to discuss the party’s floor strategy in both the Houses of Parliament in an on-going Monsoon session. The session has, so far, witnessed very little business transacted due to the prevailing impasse between the Opposition and the government.

“BJP’s stand of discussion and dialogue first and action later is not acceptable to the Congress,” Sonia Gandhi said rejecting the BJP-led Union government’s demands of discussing the contentious issues on the floor of the house.

The ruling BJP last week had lent a conditional offer of PM Modi’s intervention in the Parliament. “The government is willing to walk (an) extra mile to placate the Opposition. The Prime Minister can intervene if the debate warrants intervention,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu had told the press.

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File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha.

The AICC chief Monday morning also took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his “silence”. An allegation, which Congress party along with the host of other opposition groups have been making ever since the controversies broke out more than a month ago.

“Prime Minister is conspicuous by his deafening silence on the blatant transgressions by his External Affairs Minister and two Chief Ministers,” Sonia Gandhi said firming up her party’s demands of seeking resignation from the Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje over Lalit Modi controversy and Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

“BJP is the author of ‘resign now, debate later’ principle which it had used in at least five occasions during UPA rule. We are only following it,” she said attacking the incumbent further citing BJP’s ‘strategy’ while they were in the opposition.

Earlier on Sunday, the BJP too had criticised the principal opposition party for the current logjam in the Parliament.

“Congress members are hurling placards on the Chair (of the Speaker) right under the nose of their President Sonia Gandhi…Gandhi will have to take the blame squarely for the washout of the Monsoon session,” Union Minister Niramala Sitharaman had told the press at BJP head headquarters in New Delhi.

(With inputs from the PTI)