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HindustanTimes Thu,23 Oct 2014

Congress heaves sigh of relief

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 04, 2012
First Published: 23:18 IST(4/2/2012) | Last Updated: 23:20 IST(4/2/2012)

Hours after the special court relieved him from his 2G crisis, home minister P Chidambaram-en route to Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam for a Congress rally in support of the nuclear power plant — took a different route to come out from Madurai airport to avoid the waiting media.

His son Karthi too, avoided media glare and just posted a smiley in Twitter, to celebrate. But the Congress leadership is more forthcoming in accepting that the court order quashing Subramaniam Swamy’s plea to make Chidambaram a co-accused in 2G scam, is well-timed and will settle various political equations.

The immediate relief, according to party strategists, comes in the backdrop of the UP polls. “While the UP polls is about very different issues, any indictment of the home minister could have provided ammo to the opposition,” a senior minister said .

Congress insiders also see the verdict helping Chidambaram strengthen his position within party. The home minister always maintained that his suggestions were overlooked by A Raja. He finds his stand vindicated.

“We always know that our colleague (Chidambaram) is absolutely not culpable for anything against...that were put forward by Swamy,” telecom minister Kapil Sibal said.

A senior leader also pointed out that Chidambaram coming clean out will provide more stability in the government.  In Kolkata, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said, “it is a relief because somebody was unnecessarily being prosecuted.”

The only murmurs of discontent comes from ally DMK camp with party chief K Karunanidhi reportedly angry over Sibal’s attempt to heap all faults on Raja. Karunanidhi  said, “If any party that is committed to our line of thinking approaches us, we will consider it and take a decision”.

But the Congress dubs this as pressure tactic and don't see any immediate threat.

The Congress leadership is now bracing to thwart the Opposition attack in Parliament as it refuses to give up its fight against Chidambaram. But the UPA hopes that a good show in the assembly polls would further corner the Opposition.


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