BJP’s counter move: Corner Congress over VVIP chopper scam, Ishrat case

Facing opposition‘s ire over the Uttarakhand crisis, BJP on Tuesday sought to corner Congress over the VVIP chopper scam and Ishrat Jahan issue, alleging that the UPA government stood with LeT to prove a “terrorist” as a nationalist.

In the first Parliamentary Party meeting after the Session began on Monday, both issues besides the row over President’s Rule in the hilly state were deliberated and senior union ministers Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu articulated the party’s position on different matters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attended the meeting.

Jaitley told the MPs that the whole world knew that Ishrat was a “terrorist and LeT operative” but Congress and the then Home Minister P Chidambaram allegedly tried to help her and whitewash the case, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told the media after the meeting.

“This was the first time that a Home Minister was trying to prove a terrorist as a nationalist. The Home Minister appeared to be working with LeT,” he charged, adding that it was done to politically finish Modi, the then Gujarat Chief Minister, and Amit Shah, then a minister in the state government.

“The national would not have seen something as abhorrent and shameful as this,” he said, adding that there would be a discussion on this in Parliament.

The Agusta Westland issue was also taken up and the new revelations, he said, had exposed Congress and proved that it was all about scams. The opposition party would have to answer, he said.

BJP has also issued a whip asking all its members to be present in both the houses.

On the Uttarakhand issue, the Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs said BJP was willing for a discussion when the matter is scheduled for a debate in Parliament.

Referring to the Ishrat Jahan issue, Naqvi said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi travelled across the country to attack Modi over it.

BJP members also expressed happiness at the Modi government’s efforts to empower villages, farmers, the poor and the youth, he said, claiming that the whole world is acknowledging India’s progress.

The party, though, accused the opposition, especially Congress, of continuously working to derail the government’s developmental efforts.

“They have not been able to get over their hangover of the Lok Sabha election defeat,” he said.

BJP also defended the imposition of President’s Rule in Uttarakhand and Naqvi said the constitutional machinery in the state had broken down and it was a state without a budget. The government yesterday wanted to take up in the Rajya Sabha an important bill aimed at the welfare of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes but Congress did not allow it, he said, accusing the opposition party of working against the country’s development.

He said Telecom Ministry has developed several provision for protection of women and Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will make an announcement in Parliament in this regard. BJP wanted a positive and constructive debate in Parliament, he said.


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