A senior journalist alleged that ‘Sonia Gandhi could make Prime Minister of India break the Official Secrets Act and share secret files…’
A political slugfest has erupted in the corridors of power after a comment by senior journalist Tavleen Singh on a TV channel, which was discussing the election of Mallikarjun Kharge as the new Congress President. Making a point on power remaining with the Gandhi family, despite these elections Tavleen alleged that “Sonia Gandhi could make the Prime Minister of India break the Official Secrets Act and share secret files!”
This comment has drawn widespread criticism from the Congress rank and file. Senior MP and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram led the charge, saying in a 3-part tweet that the senior journalist made “a wild and outrageous allegation against Dr Manmohan Singh” which requires her to produce evidence and that “her time starts now!”
Yesterday, a senior journalist made a wild and outrageous allegation against Dr Manmohan Singh on an India Today TV show
She alleged that secret files of the PMO were taken to Congress President Mrs Sonia Gandhi in violation of the Official Secrets Act
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) October 20, 2022
Tavleen Singh however has stood by her charge and said in a tweet that that people who worked in the PMO have named officials who carried government files to 10 Janpath. “Former ministers admit taking orders from Sonia Gandhi. She was de facto PM then and will remain de facto Congress President now,” she added.
People who worked in the PMO have named officials who carried government files to 10 Janpath. Former ministers admit taking orders from Sonia Gandhi. She was de facto PM then and will remain de facto Congress President now. https://t.co/lxyG3attgo
— Tavleen Singh (@tavleen_singh) October 20, 2022
This controversy, however, is not new. Earlier in 2014, when Sanjay Baru, media advisor to the then Prime Minister Manmohan in his book The Accidental Prime Minister had made a similar reference.
In this book, Baru had written, “Pulok Chatterjee, (Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary) who was inducted into the Manmohan Singh PMO at the behest of Sonia Gandhi, had regular, almost daily, meetings with Sonia at which he was said to brief her on the key policy issues of the day and seek her instructions on important files to be cleared by the PM. Indeed, Pulok was the single most point of regular contact between PM and Sonia. He was also the PMO’s main point of contact with the NAC, a high profile advisory body chaired by Sonia Gandhi, with social activists as members. It was sometimes dubbed the shadow cabinet.”
Supreme Court decline’s EC’s order to award Shiv Sena symbol to Shinde camp
In a major setback to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, the Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to award the name – Shiv Sena and the symbols bow and arrow – to Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said, “We cannot stay an order of the Election Commission at this stage. They (Shinde camp) have already succeeded before the EC. We can’t now stay the order.”
The court however allowed a prayer by the Thackeray faction to allow an EC interim order allotting it the name ‘Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray)‘ and symbol ‘Flaming Torch’ to ‘continue to remain in operation.’
Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, who was representing Thackeray in court, told a bench led by Chandrachud that they (Thackeray) want protection. “We want protection. We don’t want our properties to be taken over and bank accounts taken over”.
Thackeray had challenged EC”s decision in the Supreme Court to allot the Shiv Sena name and symbol to the Eknath Shinde-led faction.
Anil Deshmukh granted permission to travel outside Mumbai
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh on Monday was granted permission to travel outside Mumbai for four weeks by a special court on Monday. Deshmukh had sought permission to visit his constituency, which is also his hometown, Nagpur.
The application was filed by Deshmukh through his lawyer, Inderpal Singh, stating that he is a native of Nagpur with deep family roots in the city apart from being an elected representative of his constituency.
“The applicant craves a benevolent indulgence of this court to permit him to travel outside Greater Mumbai, including District Nagpur, for a limited duration of about four weeks so as to maintain continuity in his social and family ties and also visit his original and permanent home/constituency,” the plea stated.
The plea further added that “the applicant needs to have due legal consultation with his lawyers in New Delhi for further course of strategy in the present and connected cases.”
Everything important in country doesn’t need to come before us: SC on Joshimath case
The Supreme Court (SC) denied to take up urgent hearing of Uttarakhand’s Joshimath land subsidence case on Tuesday, January 10.
Joshimath, is a hill town in Uttarakhand’s Chamoli district, with a population of about 23,000. It is located at an altitude of 6,107 feet. In late 2021, residents started noticing cracks in their houses. Reportedly, Around 700 houses have so far developed major and minor cracks on their walls, ceilings, or floors.
Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati, is the petitioner who sought SC’s intervention to declare the crisis in this natural disaster.
Advocate Parmeshwar Nath Mishra is appearing for Saraswati, he had mentioned the Joshimath case for urgent hearing, to which, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said, “Everything important in the country doesn’t need to come before us; there are democratically elected governments which can take care. We will take it up on January 16.”
The bench also said, “There are other democratically elected governments that can take care of the things.”
Saraswati maintained that Joshimath disaster occurred because of large-scale industrialisation. In is plea, he pursued immediate financial assistance and compensation to the people of Uttarakhand. The plea also sought support from the National Disaster Management Authority for residents in this difficult time.