Sathsivam’s appointment, Congress confused as leaders speak in different voices

Says NDA is interfering with the independence of judiciary

New Delhi : In the aftermath of a humiliating defeat, the Congress leadership appears helpless as its senior leaders keep talking in different voices on key issues. The latest instance is the clash between the views expressed by two former union ministers on the issue of the appointment of former chief justice of India P Sathasivam as the Kerala governor.

Party spokesperson Anand Sharma, a former union commerce minister questioned the proposal on the grounds that it was interference in the independence of the judiciary. He had also questioned the government’s motives in appointing Sathasivam as he had delivered a lenient verdict in case related to the BJP president Amit Shah.

On the other hand former union I&B minister Manish Tiwari also a senior lawyer maintained that there was no constitutional bar and judges have been getting political positions in their post-retirement days. He cited the case of former CJI Rangnath Misra who was appointed the governor of Orissa.

The party has asked Tiwari to follow the party line and if not the party would communicate to him in writing.

Congress had on Tuesday slammed the move to appoint Sathasivam as the Governor and wondered whether the government was ‘pleased’ with his judgement in the Amit Shah case.

In view of this clash of opinions, the Congress spokesperson Shobha oza asserted that the stand taken by Sharma is the official line whereas Tiwari has expressed his personal view.

Asked if any action would be taken against Tewari, she said it is the party’s “internal matter” which will be looked into. This is the latest in a series of instances where the party had to distance itself from the views expressed by its leaders.

This personal view argument has been used increasingly by the party to tide over the public perception that it is a divided house on several key issues in the last few days. Two senior general secretaries Janardan Dwivedi and Digvijaya Singh have advocated that all politicians above the age of 70 should not take up active positions in the party. This approach too has been dismissed as their personal view and has not been endorsed by the party.

The party spokesperson also expressed her ignorance about some unrest brewing among the secretaries regarding the statements from senior leaders that have been critical of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.” He is our leader, and we shall form the next government under his leadership,” she said while claiming that she is not aware of any meeting of secretaries that has disapproved of the public statements by Dwivedi and Singh.

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