Naidu slams Cong for dragging PMO in National Herald issue

Naidu slams Cong for dragging PMO in National Herald issue

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today ridiculed Congress for dragging the Prime Minister's office in the National Herald issue and accused the party of fighting a legal battle in Parliament.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as Gujarat Chief Minister had faced the charges against him and even "grilling by SIT" in a dignified manner and BJP had not disrupted Parliament then.

Dismissing Congress' claims of political vendetta, he told reporters here that when Subramanian Swamy filed the case in 2012, he was not a member of BJP and UPA was in power and Manmohan Singh was Prime Minister.

As Congress party was now claiming that the Prime Minister's Office was behind it, he said "does it (Congress) mean to say that Dr Manmohan Singh had organised all this?"
"Government is nowhere in the picture, let me make it very clear but Congress party is trying to fight a legal batle in Parliament instead of fighting it in court," he said.

"Enforcement Directorate has not isued any notice to them, income tax authorities will only follow their own procedure and the government has not passed any order whatsoever and has no role in this entire episode of National Herald," he said.

"We would like to know from Congress, are they fighting a legal battle in Parliament," he said.

On December 9, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had said the National Herald case is "hundred per cent political vendetta coming out of PMO."

Naidu said "I don't think anywhere in the country a politician (Modi) was grilled for eight hours." "Modi had dignifiedly handled the charges against him including questioning by the Special Investigation Team" over the 2002 riots when he was Gujarat Chief Minister.

"He (Modi) had politely answered all questions by the SIT for eight hours. Court exonerated him, he never used parliamentary forum, he never mobilised people to demonstrate, had he given a call, lakhs of people would have followed him but he did not do it because we respect Constitution, judiciary and the system," he said.

Also, he referred to charges against BJP president Amit Shah, his imprisonment and how his party had not disrupted Parliament over all such issues. 

Stating that if at all Congress felt that it was a battle, Naidu said it has to be fought legally and it has to be taken up in court.

"The issue has to be sorted out in courts not on the streets, not in Parliament, it has to be argued in courts."

He appealed to Congress and and its friends not to do now what they had done in the monsoon session "a washout" and listed key legislative businesses on wait including GST which would "bring prosperity to the country."

It was "surprising" that Congress members disrupted proceedings though their party chief had claimed that she was not disturbed by the court order (summons) on the issue.

Seeking to draw a parallel between the protests after a court ruling against Indira Gandhi in 1975 by Congress following which the Emergency was clamped and now over the Herald case, he said "now Congress seems to be back to its old tricks."

Naidu will visit flood-hit areas tomorrow here and is scheduled to distribute welfare assistance.

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