More backers for Congress on Vyapam tirade than resignation demands

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 25, 2015 01:04 IST

When the Congress opened a new front against the government in mid-June, demanding foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s resignation for allegedly helping former cricket administrator Lalit Modi get travel documents in London, it fought almost a lonely war with only the Left parties backing it.

The Congress attack on Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje over her alleged business links with Lalit Modi also found lukewarm response in the Opposition quarters.

Aside from the Left, most other Opposition parties decided to wait and watch while the Congress tried to dig out documents to allege how Modi benefitted from the Rajasthan government.

But it was Madhya Pradesh’s Vyapam test-rigging scam — that has allegedly claimed more than 40 lives — which saw wider support pouring in for the Congress.

Apart from the JD(U), DMK and Left, even the Samajwadi Party demanded chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s resignation.

A few days later, BSP chief Mayawati made her position clear. “The Rajasthan chief minister and Madhya Pradesh CM must resign. Swaraj too, must go,” she said, while her party joined the Opposition chorus to disrupt Parliament proceedings.

The TMC, which earlier snubbed its senior leader Saugata Roy for demanding Swaraj’s resignation, has now decided to join the “larger Opposition front against corruption”. Party spokesperson Derek O’Brien, however, clarified, “We are not with the Congress but we consider Vyapam scam as a serious, national issue. Our party, however, wants the House to run.”

The BJD and AIADMK have kept a safe distance from the Congress and Left brigade.

But the BJD too has shifted its goalpost on Swaraj. It earlier refused to demand her resignation, but now maintains her fate can be decided after a parliamentary debate.

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