Hyderabad: AICC General Secretary Digvijaya Singh on Thursday did not rule out the possibility of Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi taking over the reins of the party in near future. “Let’s see,” was Singh’s reply when asked about reports of the Gandhi scion taking over as AICC president in the party convention to be held this year.
Rahul Gandhi would be among other leaders who would attend the farmers rally against the land bill proposed to be organised by Congress on April 19 in Delhi under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, he told reporters here.
As for Rahul Gandhi staying away from the Budget session of Parliament, he evaded a direct reply and said, “All of us, his foot-soldiers are present here”. The Congress Vice-President has been the party leader and would continue to be so, he said.
Condemning the remarks of Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Sonia Gandhi, he said the Congress demands not only a public apology from the Minister but also seeks his dismissal from the Cabinet. “But, knowing Mr (Narendra) Modi, he will not only keep him in cabinet, we won’t be surprised if he is promoted also,” he said.
On the Union Minister expressing regrets over his comments later, the Congress leader said Giriraj Singh had made controversial remarks before general elections last year too that those opposed to Modi should go to Pakistan.
Talking about Congress’ opposition to Land Acquisition Bill, he said the NDA government is now ready to discuss the issue with parties.
“If they are prepared to discuss now, why did they not discuss earlier, before issuing the ordinance,” Singh asked.
The NDA government has failed to deliver on its election promises like bringing back black money in 100 days and a better deal for farmers, Singh alleged. “Acche Din have come only for Modi and Amit Shah,” he said.
The NDA government was supposed to take a tough stance against Pakistan and militants.. it has not been seen, Singh alleged.
Talking about the BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir, he claimed that those who were giving statements in favour of Pakistan are now allies of BJP.
Singh, in-charge of Congress affairs in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, met party leaders from the two states.
Alleging that the TRS government in Telangana has not implemented its poll promises like three acres of land for SCs and STs and two bed-room houses, he claimed that all is not well with the water grid project of the state government. “….I see one of the largest scams in Telangana taking shape in this case of water grid scheme in Telangana,” he alleged.
Training his guns on Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, Singh alleged that the former claims credit for formation of separate state in Telangana and blames Congress for bifurcation in AP.
On Telangana government reportedly considering to give high-end cars to officials, he said the state government is more concerned about lavish spending than on bread and butter issues.
Asked about the case against Congress leader Renuka Choudhary under SC/ST Act and also on charges of cheating, he said investigation would take place if FIR has been filed.
To a query on Haryana government transferring IAS officer Ashok Khemka, he said BJP had glorified him earlier but transferred him now. He, however, said the Congress does not question the right of government to transfer the officers.
When pointed out that Congress MLAs have also supported a salary hike demand for legislators in Telangana, Singh said, “It is to be decided by the Vidhan Sabha. Vidhan Sabha and parliament are only two houses and of course, the local bodies…”.
“But, if you compare the emoluments of the MLAs and Members of Parliament with the elected representatives of the other countries, I think we come fairly low.”