Congress president Sonia Gandhi has urged party leaders, office bearers and workers not to make a spectacle of her appearance along with Rahul Gandhi in a Delhi court in connection with the National Herald case on Saturday.
Congress sources said Sonia Gandhi is keen that their court appearance be kept as a “routine affair” and has advised against taking any march from the party headquarters to the Patiala House court where the case will be heard.
“Both Sonia Gandhi and Rahul have full faith in the country’s legal system and the highest regard for the judiciary. We hope to get justice,” a key party functionary said. “They have conveyed to leaders and workers that there should be no protests or marches or any sort of tamasha on the day,” he said.
The leaders argued that political rivals could project any show of solidarity by Congress workers as a showdown with the judiciary.
The party has already made it clear that it will seek all legal remedies and options, including bail, in accordance with the law on Saturday.
Asked if she would appear in court on Saturday, the Congress president replied, “Certainly.”
Apart from Sonia Gandhi and Rahul, party treasurer Motilal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, and Sam Pitroda who have been charged with “cheating, criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of property and breach of trust” will appear along with lawyers and a select group of party leaders.
Though all leaders, office bearers and workers have been asked not to come to Delhi, Congress MPs will gather at the party headquarters around 1 pm, two hours ahead of the hearing, as a mark of solidarity with the leadership.
However, leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad insisted that the actual purpose of asking the MPs to stay back in the national capital and gather at the party headquarters was to ensure their “full presence” during the remaining three days of the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
As part of its strategy, the Congress has decided to fight the case legally and also project it as “political vendetta and vindictiveness” by the BJP-led NDA government.
Meanwhile, security has been beefed up around the court premises. Senior officials of the special protection group, Delhi police and Intelligence Bureau reviewed security arrangements at the court premises where 16 more CCTV cameras were installed on Friday. Shops inside the premises will remain closed and the area near the courtroom in which the hearing is scheduled will be cordoned off by a multi-layered security cover.