Congress draws up strategy to target BJP over Jay Shah issue
The main opposition party has planned a series of news conferences and street protests across the country to corner Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP on the issue of corruption, which was a key poll plank of the saffron party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.india Updated: Oct 10, 2017 17:16 IST
The Congress has decided to up the ante against BJP chief Amit Shah over the allegations of impropriety against his son Jay Shah by taking the issue to “every nook and corner” of the country.
The main opposition party has planned a series of news conferences and street protests across the country to corner Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP on the issue of corruption, which was a key poll plank of the saffron party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
A report by news portal ‘The Wire’ claiming the turnover of Jay Shah’s firm grew exponentially after the BJP came to power in 2014 has given the Congress a handle to attack the BJP ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh later this year.
Calling it the “Shah Jaada case (twisting Shehzada)”, the Congress hopes to make it a larger issue in terms of mobilising nationwide support against the BJP and the Modi government. The BJP had in a similar manner raised the issue of alleged impropriety by Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra.
“We will walk that extra mile to expose the true face of the BJP. We will take this issue to each household and every nook and corner of the country. Justice may be poetic. The jury is out.The people of India will decide,” Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan said.
The party sought Shah’s resignation as the BJP chief till the probe was over in line with past precedents, citing BJP veterans LK Advani and Nitin Gadkari as examples. Apart from demanding an inquiry into the matter by sitting Supreme Court judges, it also wanted the Prime Minister to break his silence on the issue and immediately sack Shah.
On Monday, the Congress held news conferences on the controversy in 12 cities across the country. While Anand Sharma held the fort in Delhi, Randeep Singh Surjewala and Sachin Pilot attacked the BJP in Jaipur.
Raj Babbar raised the issue in Lucknow, RPN Singh in Ranchi, Rajni Patil, Pawan Khera abd Bhupesh Baghel were deputed to Raipur, Ajoy Kumar and Prasad Harichandan to Bhubaneswar, Gaurav Gogoi to Kolkata, Ripun Bora, Tarun Gogoi and Debbrat Saikia address the press conference in Guwahati, Prithviraj Chavan and Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil in Mumbai, Jairam Ramesh in Ahmedabad, Virbhadra Singh, Ranjeeta Ranjan and Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu in Shimla.
On Tuesday, Babbar, Pritam Singh and Indira Hridayesh will address a news conference in Dehradun, Deepak Babaria and Arun Yadav in Bhopal, RPN Singh and Ashok Tanwar in Chandigarh, M Veerappa Moily in Mangalore, Surjewala and Nilesh Awasthi in Jabalpur.
The Youth Congress is also organising a protest on the issue on Tuesday. “We demand CBI and ED investigations on the matter. We also demand resignation of Amit Shah and want the PM to come out and give a statement on the issue,” Youth Congress spokesperson Amrish Ranjan Pandey said.
In the past, the Congress had sought to put the BJP on the mat by demanding the resignations of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Chhattisgarh counterpart Raman Singh over a multi-crore exam-rigging scandal, better known as Vyapam, and the rice scam respectively.
It had also demanded the resignations of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhra Raje for helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi get travel documents in the UK.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had launched an investigation against Modi in 2010 following the allegations of misconduct, indiscipline and financial irregularities, and banned him for life in 2013 after a committee found him guilty of these charges. He later moved to London.
The Congress had also attacked the NDA government over the “escape” of liquor baron Vijay Mallya. He had left India in March last year after defaulting on repayment of loans worth several hundred crores that Kingfisher Airlines, now defunct, owed to banks.
The party sought to Link the “escape” of Mallya and Lalit Modi to Modi’s “failure” to deliver his poll promise to bring back black money stashed abroad, alleging that the government had allowed them to flee the country and “swindle” thousands of crores of public money.