NEW DELHI: It was some subtle hints from Congress President Sonia Gandhi that led to the Congress today intensifying its attack on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the alleged financial irregularities in Delhi's cricket body.
Party sources said that a meeting of Congress MPs to decide the strategy for the day's proceedings saw Gandhi herself asking the members what should be done on the Jaitley issue suggesting some seniors have a different view. Gandhi's queries led to several members immediately raising their hand pitching for taking up the issue of the resignation of the Finance Minister from the start of the day in the question hour and intensifying it in the zero hour.
Some argued that the Congress had raised the issue first and should not allow the AAP to get credit by going on the offensive. The AICC briefing saw party spokesman P L Punia reflecting the party's aggressive stand on the issue. Besides the resignation of the Finance Minister and the setting up of a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe, he also wanted a High Court/Supreme Court monitored CBI SIT probe into the financial irregularities, hours after BJP member Kirti Azad pitched for such a probe.
"Once such a demand is coming from within BJP itself ....how can Arun Jaitley continue as Finance Minister, even for a minute thereafter?", he wondered. Punia said while Kirti Azad has posed as many as 52 questions to Jaitley, who has failed to answer even one.
He said if Jaitley does not step down, the Prime Minister should sack him as the charges against the Finance Minister are not only coming from the opposition, but from a senior BJP MP too. Punia charged the Finance Minister with attempting to mislead Parliament that the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) had not found him guilty of anything.
"The charges against Jaitley are far from being political in nature and speak of gross and blatant financial irregularity,disregard of provisions of rules and law and wilful manipulation of procedures for financial gains", he alleged.