National Herald case: Sonia tells Cong cadre 'no show of strength' at court

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has made it loud and clear down the party line that there should not be any ‘show of strength’ – in the form of rally, march, raising slogans or crowding the court premises ahead of her and party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s appearance before the court on 19 December.

Debobrat Ghose December 19, 2015 08:45:28 IST
National Herald case: Sonia tells Cong cadre 'no show of strength' at court

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has made it loud and clear down the party line that there should not be any ‘show of strength’ – in the form of rally, march, raising slogans or crowding the court premises ahead of her and party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s appearance before the court on 19 December.

National Herald case Sonia tells Cong cadre no show of strength at court

No drama please, Sonia tells party cadre/ Reuters

The high command has shot down the requests from various quarters within the Congress party to have a long march of its workers and volunteers on the streets of Delhi on 19 December, ahead of the Court appearance of the Gandhis in the National Herald case. The party wants to keep the court appearance as a ‘low key affair’.

“There’s a clear instruction from the top leadership not to have any pomp and show or crowd at the court premises. We honour country’s legal system and the party won’t go for any face-off. Some of our party workers suggested it but the top leadership said no to it. We’ll politically fight out the BJP and the Modi government. This National Herald case is a case of politically vendetta,” Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad told Firstpost.

He further added, “The enforcement directorate officer who had recommended closure of this case has been shunted by the government and by appointing a new officer, the case has been reopened.”

The Congress party headquarters at 24 Akbar Road was unusually calm on Friday afternoon, barring a few party workers found gathered at the office lawn. A couple of party’s office bearers were found in their respective chambers busy with meetings.
One of the women workers from a group that has come from Haryana, and were found chatting outside the office premises said, “We’ve come to express our solidarity with Soniaji. But, there won’t be any rally or march,” she said.

Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and other senior leaders of Congress will appear before a Delhi court on 19 December in connection with the National Herald case. Earlier, it was decided that senior state leaders and party workers from various states would come to Delhi and go for a ‘show of strength’ by hitting the streets of Delhi in support of party’s top leadership and against the Modi-government.

But according to party sources, later the Congress high command felt that it would lead to a huge gathering and sloganeering at court premises by party workers and leaders, which might go against them or send a negative image amongst the public due to possible disruptions.

“We have come here to be a part of tomorrow’s march to the court, where Soniaji and Rahulji will appear, but there’s a strong message from the top not to resort to any such activity and restrain ourselves. So, we are not going for any kind of over-hype,” a Youth Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh told Firstpost.

Meanwhile, senior leaders in the Congress are chalking out strategies on court appearance and also to counter the NDA government both inside and outside the Parliament.

Instruction has been issued to all the Members of Parliament and Congress Working Committee (CWC) members to meet at the headquarters at 1 pm on 19 December.

According to a party source, the Congress may demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee on the issue of alleged corruption in the Delhi District Cricket Association (DDCA) case. Both the Centre (read Arun Jaitley) and the Aam Aadmi Party are already at loggerheads on the issue. “The Congress may demand for a JPC to create pressure on Modi-government. But, it has been kept in abeyance till the outcome of tomorrow’s court appearance. Depending on the outcome decision will be taken,” the source said.

Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad said, “We’re studying the report of the probe panel set up by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs on DDCA. We’ll come up on it next week.”

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