The Congress on Thursday made it clear it will seek all legal remedies, including bail, in the National Herald case on December 19 and denied it had given any direction to its MPs to gather at the party headquarters on the day.
“We will avail of all legal remedies and options which includes seeking bail in accordance with the law on December 19,” the party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters.
On Saturday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are expected to appear in court in connection with the case.
Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad also maintained that the Congress chief, party vice-president and the entire leadership had full faith in the judiciary and the law of the land.
“Whatever we need to do, we will do and whatever legal instruments we will have to use, we will use. We respect the judiciary,” he added.
This is the first time that the Congress has spelt out its line of action on the issue as earlier party strategists had insisted the Gandhis will not seek bail on the day of hearing.
Apart from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, party treasurer Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, and Sam Pitroda have been charged with “cheating, criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of property, and breach of trust”, a development the party termed as “political vendetta”. The party’s legal team is of the view that if they move a bail application on Saturday, it is most likely to be granted.
Azad and Surjewala denied the Congress had called any of its state leaders on that day. “We have made it clear to everybody that any leader or office bearer or worker need not and should not come to Delhi on December 19,” Azad said.
However, he said MPs have been told to stay in the national capital to ensure full strength in Parliament till the conclusion of the winter session on December 23. “We apprehended that they might not come back to Delhi from their constituencies thinking that Parliament will not function next week as well.”
Asked if they would go to the Congress headquarters, Azad shot back: “How can we stop them from going there… they can’t go to the BJP office.”
A senior functionary, however, said the move was cancelled at the last moment after some leaders argued that it might create a “negative perception” among the public. “Some state leaders had even confirmed their participation in the meeting,” an office bearer said.
Earlier in the day, party spokespersons were briefed about all the aspects of the National Herald case.