Herald row: Congress stalls Parliament
The Congress party stormed the floors of Parliament on Tuesday and accused NDA government of pursuing a \"vendetta\" against the Gandhi family, in a fresh blow to hopes of passing a crucial tax reform.
Alleges ‘vendetta’ against Gandhi family
- Fresh hurdle to passage of GST in Rajya Sabha
- Sonia, Rahul to appear in court on Dec 19
New Delhi: The Congress party stormed the floors of Parliament on Tuesday and accused NDA government of pursuing a "vendetta" against the Gandhi family, in a fresh blow to hopes of passing a crucial tax reform.
The government wants to introduce a nationwide goods and services tax (GST) to replace a long list of state levies, in a bid to boost investment by making it easier to do business.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs Opposition support to pass the reform in the Rajya Sabha, where his party lacks a majority. Hopes were raised for the long-delayed legislation to be passed this year after Modi met Congress president Sonia Gandhi last month and both parties showed signs of compromise.
But the sides were at loggerheads again on Monday, after a judge ordered Gandhi and her son Rahul to appear in court in the National Herald case brought by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy.
On Tuesday, furious Congress members occupied the floors of Parliament to protest against the case. Modi has moved to weaken the legacy of the Gandhi dynasty since dislodging them from power last year.
Parliament was adjourned until Wednesday following the uproar, but Congress workers carried their protests into the streets, including shouting slogans from the top of a bus.
"The GST bill has gone for a sky walk," Congress deputy leader in the upper house Anand Sharma said, indicating swift passage of the measure was unlikely. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a Congress spokesman and lawyer for the Gandhis, said they were willing to appear in court, but sought more time.
The court will hear the case on December 19. Congress president Sonia Gandhi said: "I was asked if I was afraid. I replied that I am the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi and I am not afraid of anybody or anything."
Rahul Gandhi said he "absolutely saw political vendetta" in the case. "This is the way the Union government tries to silence me. It will not happen and I will continue to ask questions and put pressure on the government," Rahul said in Puducherry.
"Subramanian Swamy has been given a specific task to target the Congress," senior party leader Kapil Sibal said at a press conference.