The Congress party was forced to rethink on its ‘declared’ protest against Narendra Modi government after Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj claimed that a Congress leader had pressed her to give diplomatic passport to Coal scam accused and former MoS Coal Santosh Bagrodia.
The principal opposition party had decided to stage a protest today in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the Parliament House complex. The decision to hold the protest was taken at the high level meeting presided by the AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi.
But Sushma Swaraj’s claims seem to have altered the contours.
“A senior Congress leader was pressing me hard to give diplomatic passport to Coal Scam accused Santosh Bagrodia. I will disclose name of the leader on the floor of the House,” Susham Swaraj wrote on the micro-blogging site Twitter.
Bagrodia, who is a former minister of state for Coal, was on Tuesday summoned as an accused by a special court in a coal scam case pertaining to allocation of Maharashtra’s Bander coal block to AMR Iron and Steel Pvt Ltd.
The aggressive Opposition, in particular the Congress party, has been demanding the resignation of Union External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on the issue of ‘helping’ out controversial Lalit Modi, former boss of popular cricket series IPL. The controversy has eventually given way to a major logjam between the government and opposition, with the latter firm on its demand of Ms Swaraj’s ouster.
And it was all witnessed on Tuesday, the first day of the Monsoon session, when the opposition protest disallowed Sushma Swaraj to make her statement.
Congress has decided to take up the issue of corruption in a major way in this session where the BJP-led NDA government is keen to get some of the key legislations through. The party is also seeking resignation from Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje on the Lalit Modi issue and of Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan on ‘Vyapam’ scam, a massive admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, senior officials and businessmen in Madhya Pradesh.
It had also moved an adjournment motion on ‘Vyapam’ scam, which has been plaguing not just the BJP-run state government in Madhya Pradesh but it has also given the opposition an opportunity to criticise the Union government over the ‘silence’ of Prime Minister Modi.
(With inputs from the PTI)