BJP leader Subramanian Swamy’s message to the Opposition rang loud and clear on his first day in Parliament after 17 years – he was not going to lie low.
Swamy barely spoke two lines during Wednesday’s Rajya Sabha session, but it was enough to get the house adjourned twice. Swamy sought to link Congress leaders to British businessman Christian James Michel who is being investigated for allegedly bribing bribing Indians in AgustaWestland choppers deal.
“Now, before coming to my notice, it was touching to see the Leader of the Opposition relying on Mr Michel for what he said orally. But the High Court of Italy has recorded a letter written by Mr Michel stating that… is the main...,” he said.
A part of the BJP leader’s speech was expunged, but the Congress continued to protest. Nothing else could be discussed during the Zero Hour. Peace prevailed only during the Question Hour and later, when the house came together to discuss the drought.
Swamy’s nomination to the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP is in a minority, signals a shift in its political strategy. The ruling party now seeks to show that despite lacking the strength needed to push bills through the house, it will use every opportunity to turn the tables on the Congress.
Defending his party, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said: “There is not even a whisper regarding the culpability of the Congress and any of its leaders (in the AgustaWestland scam). It is just a figment of the imagination of the MP who has been just nominated. Modi wants to use him for his muck-raking agenda. Swamy’s job as an MP is for this purpose.”
The BJP leader, best known for his role in exposing the alleged 2G scam during the UPA regime, is a veteran in parliamentary procedures. He was first elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1974 on a Jan Sangh ticket.
Swamy – a former Harvard professor – is fluent in Mandarin, resides in Delhi’s posh Nizamuddin East, and has a penchant for filing cases against Congress leaders.
The BJP leader was allotted a government bungalow four months ago over “security concerns” in the backdrop of the National Herald case – in which he was the main complainant. While there was a lot of hue and cry over the allotment earlier, he can now easily retain it as an MP.