Nudge from Pawar gets the ball rolling on impeachment

It took a nudge from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar for the Congress to speed up the filing of impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dipak Mishra with Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu. PTI file photo

It took a nudge from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar for the Congress to speed up the filing of impeachment motion against Chief Justice Dipak Mishra with Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu.

The discussions on moving a motion had started after four senior-most Supreme Court judges came out in open against the CJI and it gained further momentum during the second leg of the Budget Session.

Signatures were collected by the Congress from various parties last month but there were conflicting views from the party, a section was against such a move. The Congress was also trying to rope in more parties like the Trinamool Congress, the DMK and the RJD among others.

As there was no forward movement, sources said Pawar expressed his annoyance with top Opposition leaders over the delay in filing notice, even after collecting enough signatures, to submit it to Naidu.

The NCP was staunchly supporting the move to impeach the CJI, though allies like the Trinamool, the Congress, the DMK and some others were not keen on supporting it. The Trinamool Congress leaders felt that it was a meaningless act as by the time the process concluded Misra would retire and the whole process would become infructuous. It was also not keen on dragging such a high office into such crisis.

Incidentally, some of the DMK MPs had initially signed the papers but after its chief M K Stalin decided not to support the motion, the decision was communicated to Congress leadership.

Following this, the page containing the signatures of these MPs were removed. The Opposition managers then had to get the signatures of other MPs on this page again, sources said.

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