Trinamool, JD(U) rally behind Congress

Regional parties back Gandhis in Herald case

Trinamool, JD(U) rally behind Congress

The Congress on Wednesday got support from anti-BJP regional parties such as Trinamool and JD (U) on the National Herald issue even as Rahul Gandhi accused the Prime Minister’s Office of carrying out “pure political vendetta”.

Trinamool members actively supported the Congress in Parliament and even walked out of the Lok Sabha for not being allowed to speak on the Herald issue.

High court

The Delhi High Court, on Monday, had rejected a petition filed by Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and three others seeking quashing of summons issued by a trial court over a complaint of cheating while acquiring Associated Journals Limited, that published the now defunct National Herald, through a not-for-profit company Young Indian.

The Gandhis had told the magistrate that they were willing to appear before the trial court, which asked them to be present on December 19.

Sonia, who turned 69 on Wednesday, received greetings from across the political spectrum. President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and numerous leaders, including DMK supremo M Karunanidhi, wished Sonia. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also met Sonia Gandhi and wished her on her birthday.

Mamata support

Mamata drove to Gandhi’s residence at 10 Janpath in New Delhi, even as speculation is rife about the Congress allying with Left Front in West Bengal to pose a challenge to ruling Trinamool Congress in the Assembly elections in the state next year.

The JD (U), Congress’ newfound ally, also signalled its support to the party with Rajya Sabha member K C Tyagi joining Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad on the issue.

“One hundred per cent political vendetta. This is pure political vendetta coming out of the PM’s office. It is their way of doing politics... I have full faith in the legal system,” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told reporters outside Parliament.

Rejecting Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu’s charge that the Congress was pressurising the judiciary through Parliament, Rahul retorted: “We all know who is threatening the judiciary.”

The Samajwadi Party, the BSP and the YSR Congress have not supported the Congress. In Kolkata, Congress leader Manas Bhunia slammed the CPM for not supporting Congress on the National Herald issue, but praised Mamata Banerjee for her gesture.

Meanwhile, Sonia Gandhi summoned senior lawyers P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi for consultations on the Herald case. The Gandhis have told the trial court, through their lawyers, that they would be present before it on December 19.

Prior to the meeting, Singhvi rejected the government charge that the Congress was pressurising the judiciary.

 He said that terming the High Court orders unsustainable and erroneous does not amount to casting aspersions on the judiciary.

Singhvi and Sibal also briefed Congress members of Parliament on the legal and political aspects of the case.

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