Congress allies NCP and NC oppose snoopgate probe
In a major snub for the Congress, two of its allies - the NCP and the National Conference - Sunday opposed an inquiry commission to probe the snoopgate allegations against BJP leader Narendra Modi, saying the timing was not right.
Speaking to reporters, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and union minister Praful Patel said: "The decision to set up an inquiry into the allegations was taken in December. Now with 10 days to go for election results, it's not the right time."
"It won't be appropriate to set up an inquiry commission at the last hour," he said, adding that this has been conveyed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar.
Another Congress ally, the National Conference (NC), too, questioned and criticised the timing of the order to appoint a commission.
"If the decision to appoint a commission was taken in December, it should have been implemented. To appoint a judge five months later, is wrong," NC leader and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah tweeted.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the move, saying the Congress allies have finally "come to their senses".
"It seems UPA allies have finally come to their senses. This is politics of vendetta in which Congress specialises... Other parties don't want to be a part of it... We welcome this," BJP spokesperson M.J. Akbar said.
Meanwhile, the Congress acknowledged the "different points of view" and said the matter would be discussed with the allies.
"There can always be different points of view... I think these things can be discussed," party leader and union Minister for External Affairs Salman Khurshid said.
Congress also issued a statement raising a series of questions over the issue.
"Which chief minister puts a young girl under such extensive surveillance on an oral undated request?" Congress questioned.
"Whether alleged good governance and protection of women of Narendra Modi mean state's right and might to illegal snooping and spying on the entire woman population of the country," Congress said.
Modi has been in the middle of a controversy ever since reports surfaced in the media that his close aide Amit Shah was involved in snooping on a woman architect, apparently under the instruction of one "sahib".
The Congress has repeatedly attacked Modi, understood to be the "sahib" Shah referred to.
(Posted on 04-05-2014)