The Trinamool fully backed the Congress in Parliament on Tuesday to take on a “vindictive” government over the National Herald case against Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul, taking advantage of the Left’s distancing itself from the issue.
In both Houses of Parliament, the Left remained silent while Congress MPs stormed into the Well and protested, with Trinamool colleagues joining the chorus. Janata Dal (United) MPs also stood in support of the Congress and raised slogans.
Gandhi spoke to the Trinamool’s Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay during disruptions in proceedings and requested him not to speak on other issues but join the Congress protest.
Later, West Bengal CM and Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee announced she would meet Gandhi on Wednesday on the latter’s birthday. Banerjee told reporters, “Sad that Sonia was asked to appear in court. Persons who have been in politics for such a long time, it is not good that they appear in trial courts in person. I feel bad about it.”
In the House, Bandopadhyay said, “Many political parties are victims of this government’s vindictive attitude.”
Even as their arch rivals warmed up to Congress overtures in Parliament, CPI(M) MPs remained seated and silent. “This is not a political issue but merely the court versus the Congress. Why should we get involved in a court case?” asked a senior CPI(M) MP. In Parliament, Left parties had otherwise been a source of support for the Congress to take on the BJP-led NDA over several issues.
BSP chief Mayawati also refused to join the Congress tirade against the government. “Congress leaders could only say why they are accusing the government and disrupting Parliament. We do not want to comment on the case as the matter is sub-judice,” she said.
After Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the Congress’s Mallikarjun Kharge to raise the issue of violence against Dalits, Gandhi told Bandopadhyay, “We wanted to raise the Dalit issue on Monday. But Khargeji’s microphone was switched off. Now, when we are raising the issue of vindictive attitude of the government, we are invited to speak on something else.”
Gandhi’s move to reach out came amid the BJP’s effort to create a rift in Opposition parties by accusing the Congress of trying to block other parties from speaking on key issues.