Vyapam the ‘grand mother of all scams’, says Azad

New Delhi, (IANS) Terming Madhya Pradesh’s Vyapam scam the “grandmother of all scams”, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Monday said that it was the people known to the BJP and protected by the BJP who were responsible for the killings.

“Vyapam is the grandmother of all scams. Who is responsible for the 40 plus killings? Is it the Pakistan army? Is it the ISI? Or is it the Naxals (Maoists)? It is the people known to the BJP and protected by the BJP who were responsible. It was never before had India or the world seen a scam where over 40 people who were witnesses or evidence had been quietly killed,” Azad said in an interview to the India Today news channel.

Stating that the Congress won’t let either of the houses function until the BJP-led government obtains the resignation or sacks External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and her Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan, he said Congress was ready for “battle” and would not “give up” or “give in.

He said that though the decision to disrupt the houses would be taken on a day to day basis, Congress would follow the example of the BJP, who over the 2G issue, held up functioning of the entire monsoon session and winter session of parliament during UPA’s rule.

Asked about the Congress’ stand on the Land Acquisition Bill, Azad asserted his party would not even allow the bill to be tabled in the upper house.

“There was no way the Congress would compromise on three critical issues that is the consent clause, the social impact clause and the clause that determines land will be returned to the farmer if it is unused after 5 years,” he said and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having “hatred for the farmer”.

Commenting on Modi’s recent visit to Russia’s Ufa and meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, Azad said that he had bungled and embarrassed the entire nation by agreeing to provide additional information on the 26/11 case. Noting India had already provided all the information it had, he said: “Due to the commitment Pakistan would hereafter accuse India of failing to provide information which, of course, India could not provide because it does not have it.”

Azad said that the stepped-up cross-border firing were a reflection of the fact that Nawaz Sharif had made concessions to India which his army didn’t like.

On GST, Azad indicated that Congress was prepared to be flexible and accommodating over its 5 key concerns with the GST Bill — 1 per cent inter-state entry tax, the demand for a flat 18 percent GST rate, inclusion of liquor, petrol, tobacco and electricity, 5 years 100 percent compensation for the states and enhancing the state vote in the GST Council from two-thirds to three-fourths whilst reducing the centre’s vote from one-third to one-fourth.

However, how flexible and accommodating Congress was prepared to be would only be known after the Parliament Committee submitted its report either on Tuesday or day after, he said.

He said that if Congress, in the end, chooses not to support the GST Bill, it would not get a two-third majority in the Rajya Sabha as needed.

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