Even as Congress celebrated bail given to Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, Digvijaya Singh, senior Congress leader, spoke to TOI on why his party believes National Herald is political vendetta, accusations of Congress stalling Parliament’s vital work, PM Narendra Modi being praised globally – and what exactly Congress wants regarding GST:
Why do you feel the National Herald case is political vendetta against Sonia and Rahul Gandhi?
Digvijay Singh:This isn’t new. BJP and RSS from the very beginning have opposed the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. They feel threatened by Congress which believes in communal harmony and non-violence – BJP thrives on polarisation. The whole idea of BJP is to put majority against minority, without which they cannot survive.
This political vendetta started with defaming Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru – if you go to the internet, you’ll find horrible statements against Nehruji. Then, there were allegations against Indira Gandhiji and Sanjay Gandhiji. False cases were registered against them. Bofors case against Rajiv Gandhiji happened, where nothing could be proved.
Now, this political vendetta continues with Sonia and Rahul Gandhiji. They are basically against the Nehru-Gandhi family.
Our fight with them is not personal –it is ideological.
However, conduct of Congress office-bearers has been questioned in court – what’s your response?
Digvijay Singh:This is a matter which is in the court. Let the court decide.
But isn’t Congress showing vindictiveness meanwhile by blocking vital bills like GST and juvenile justice?
Digvijay Singh:I have a question – wasn’t BJP showing vindictiveness from 2007 to 2014? We are not doing anything with vindictiveness in mind – we are simply asking that GST rate should be capped at 18% and 1% additional tax over GST should be withdrawn. We want more representation in the state council and an independent regulator.
What’s your response to those who blame Congress for the House not working?
Digvijay Singh:It was Arun Jaitley who apparently said disruption of the House is a legitimate parliamentary practice – we are only going by that.
The House should function. First two days, work did happen. Then, Arun Jaitley came out with an unnecessary remark about Kumari Selja. Personal remarks came on Sonia and Rahul Gandhiji.
After that, issues were raised on raid of chief minister’s office in Delhi and murder of democracy in Arunachal Pradesh.
Congress wants the House to run. BJP should listen to some of our demands.
Even as you clash domestically, PM Modi is lauded globally.
Digvijay Singh:He’s being lauded globally by hired crowds. Wherever he’s gone, have relations improved between the two countries? They have not. Has he been able to get foreign investment? No.
What’s so great about Modi going abroad?
But India-Pakistan talks are resuming – isn’t that positive?
Digvijay Singh:Congress always stood for better relations between India and Pakistan. It’s only through dialogue that this issue can be resolved.
Personally, i’ve always been supportive of India’s good relations with its neighbouring countries. There’s so much opportunity for trade, commerce, industry and cultural exchange.
We have to learn to live together – and sweep contentious issues under the carpet. it is ideological.