NEW DELHI: Rejecting the political vendetta charge in the National Herald case, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today mounted a counter attack on Congress saying its stand amounts to an "onslaught" on the independence of the judiciary and wondered whether the protest was to block the passage of the GST bill.
"What is Congress agitating for? Can you get a parliamentary remedy for something that happened during a judicial process? Or are they expecting government to interfere in the working of the court?
"It is for the first time in the country that Parliament is being disrupted for something that has happened in a court of law," he told reporters here.
Alleging that Congress does not want Parliament to function properly and address burning issues of legislation and people's concerns, Naidu said, "If the Congress does not want economic reforms and GST bill to be passed, they should say so. If the Congress party does not want the struggling real estate sector a regulator to enhance its credibility, they should say so."
Asked whether this means that the government's plan to take up the GST and real estate bill this week stands shelved, he said, "Government is keen about the passage of GST and real estate bills. We will have discussions with Congress before proceeding for it. And we are hopeful of the passage of GST due to overwhelming opinion in its favour."
He said that Congress and its leadership are "rattled" by the court's observations in the National Herald case.
"It is very puzzling that Congress party that had so much of experience in governance both at Centre and in states stooped so low to disrupt Parliament for something happened in a court out of a routine judicial process. Is that the view of Kapil Sibal, such a distinguished lawyer, that the trial court in National Herald case gave its verdict at the behest of BJP and central government," Naidu asked.
"Congress was raising the issue of intolerance. Who is really intolerant? It shows Congress is intolerant towards the judicial process. Congress stand amounts to an onslaught on the independence of judiciary, an institution that has the highest regard in the country," he said.
The Union minister said that what is even more amazing is that Congress party is calling it a "political vendetta".
"How can anybody say that? Does it not amount to attributing political motives to judiciary? By resorting to such tactics, Congress is only scoring self-goals," he said, adding that with Congress bringing the spotlight on the issue, details of the "very scathing judgement" will go among people.
Naidu reminded that the case was filed by Subramaniam Swamy in 2012 when he was not in BJP and NDA was not in power. Asked whether he thinks that a larger Opposition unity canemerge on the issue, Naidu said, "I do not think any sensible person can sympathise with Congress on the National Herald case."