Ms. Sushmita said the CM of Manipur has taken his oath today. And after the Hon'ble Supreme Court had ordered, we will see the result of Floor Test in Goa Assembly tomorrow.But I have to say that yesterday as a Spokesperson of my Party, when we addressed the Media or people anywhere, it was very clear that the Nation or in the Media, the subject matter of the debate emanated not from someone who is just Finance Minister of the country but is also a well known Lawyer in the Hon'ble Supreme Court, Hon'ble High Court and well respected, if I may say so, in his profession and I am deeply saddened that a Finance Minister who is, if you like second or third line in the Government of India, chooses to write a Blog in which he describes the grievance of the or the contentions of the Opposition Party, if I may say so, the largest Opposition Party in the Parliament, he actually relegated it to saying that the Congress Party complains too much. But today through the Media or through this Press Conference, I would like to ask Hon'ble Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley Ji that what you felt was clear, may be irrelevant banter what the Congress Party said or complaining, why is it that when the Goa Chief Minister is appointed by the Hon'ble Governor that during his oath taking, the people were shouting slogan as 'he is not our CM'. Apart from that, we also show that it was done under strict police security. Today the oath of a Governor appointing CM has to take place in the security is the clearest unequivocal signal that they are afraid of the mandate of people; that they are not with them. I am even further appalled, if I may so, to read in the Blog, about the three instances which Mr. Jaitley has given – one of which is of Jammu & Kashmir in 2002, one is of 2013 what happened in Delhi and if I may say so, of also of Jharkhand in 2005. It has become an inherent habit in the BJP that by speaking lies a hundred times or hammering the lies, they think they convert it into facts and the truth which is not the case. I am pained to say that the most recent incident of 2013, we all know that when the BJP had won 31 seats, they had refused to form the Government after being invited. Similarly in J&K 2002 Mr. Jaitley goes on to say that it is not out of line for the Governor to invite a party which is not necessarily the single largest party as written in his Blog and I am pained to say that in that election of J&K, the National Conference which had 28 MLAs, Farooq Abudllah Ji had not stood and Omar Abdullah Ji had stood and lost. In those circumstances, National Conference had said that they are not staking claim. Now if you come to the Jharkhand thing, when Shibu Soren Ji was invited with other Parties to form the Government, I think, the democracy prevailed and as far as remember, he did not succeed in the Floor Test. A narrative that has been set by Shri Arun Jaitley that Congress Party is complaining without justification, is completely misplaced, is completely unjustified because today we had seen that many Constitutional Experts even on the electronic media last night, were clearly of the view that there is an order of priority when a mandate is out, when an election is over and in that order of priority, there is absolutely no doubt that Constitutional convention is to first invite the single largest Party where there is no pre-poll alliance, to invite the single largest Party where there is a post-poll alliance. Now, this entire rhetoric, that the BJP has run that why did Congress Party stake claim, I would like to put it on record that our Party did, in Goa, went to meet the Hon'ble Governor, who avoided meeting our Party and in turn invited Shri Manohar Parrikar Ji who was still somewhere between North Block and Panjim, who still had one feet here and one feet there to come and actually prove his majority.
So, therefore, I would like to request Mr. Arun Jaitley that please get your facts right and going by the same logic, in 1999, he himself took oath as Minister in Vajpayee's Government where Vajpayee Ji was invited as the proposed Prime Minister for the single largest Party although all of you will recall that BJP was not the Party with the largest vote share.
For Manipur, I would like to say that a dichotomy of double standards of the BJP is that on the 11th March when the results were out, I myself saw Mr. Ram Madhav Ji who is the Prabhari of the North Eastern State, said that people of Manipur have rejected the Manipur Government. And therefore, BJP is going to form the Government here but and in the same breath, the same logic did not apply to Goa whereas the Governor of Goa consistently told the Congress Party that you have not elected your Floor Leader and, therefore, you cannot be invited. It is very strange that in Manipur where the BJP had not selected their Floor Leader, they had been invited to show the majority. The point I am making is that why are the Governors of the two States simultaneously in a similar situation where the BJP is not the single largest Party acting in whatever it takes to favour this Party is questionable and it is a dark day in our democracy.
Apart from that, I can only hope that tomorrow, in the Vote on the Floor Test in the Goa Assembly, that people of Goa, the aspirations of the people of Goa, the hope of the people of Goa are not dashed to the floor and Congress is a Party which will do everything in its power but within the legalities of the Constitution and the Rule of Law to ensure that the sentiments and the popular vote and the mandate of the people of Goa defeats the sinister design of the BJP.
एक प्रश्न पर कि यूपी की हार से कांग्रेस इतनी हताश हो गई थी कि मणिपुर और गोवा की जीत को कांग्रेस ने हाथ से गंवा दिया, कु. सुष्मिता देव ने कहा कि यूपी की हार को अगर हम खारिज कर दें ये सही नहीं रहेगा, लेकिन पंजाब में जो हमारी जीत हुई है और गोवा में जो हमारी रिकवरी हुई है सिंगल मेज्योरिटी पार्टी और मणिपुर में सिंगल लार्जेस्ट पार्टी जीत कर आए हैं, हमने उसको अनदेखा नहीं किया है। पार्टी की तरफ से मैं कहूंगी कि उस रिजल्ट से हम बहुत खुश हैं। हमारे सबके अंदर यही भावना है कि जो मैंने पहले कहा कि 'कांग्रेस मुक्त भारत' ना हुआ है और ना कभी भविष्य में होगा।अगर आपका प्रश्न सेलिब्रेशन से प्रेरित है तो मैं कहूंगी कि आप सेलिब्रेशन पर ज्यादा ध्यान देते हैं और अच्छा रहता अगर आप बीजेपी को 11 तारीख को पूछते कि क्या आप ज्यादा सेलिब्रेट नहीं कर रहे हैं 3 राज्यों में हारने के बाद? ये सवाल आपको उनसे पूछना चाहिए था।
EVM के नतीजों पर उठे प्रश्न के उत्तर में कु. सुष्मिता देव ने कहा कि सवाल टेक्नोलॉजी का नहीं है। हमारा जो चुनाव आयोग है उसका प्रथम काम यही है कि चुनाव सही हों और उसमें पार्दर्शिता हो। EVM पहले इसलिए लाया गया क्योंकि बूथ कैपचरिंग की शिकायत रहती थी। इन सबको खत्म करने के लिए EVM मशीन लाए गए थे। कांग्रेस पार्टी की हमेशा ये मांग रही है कि किसी गड़बड़ी की आशंका को खत्म करने के लिए VVPAT या Paper Trail वाली EVM से ही मतदान कराए जायें जिससे अगर किसी के मन में शक हो तो पुनर्गिनती कर के उँगली उठाने वाले को संतुष्ट किया जा सके। साथ में हम यह भी कहेंगे कि जब तक VVPAT मशीनें नहीं लग जाती हैं और किसी भी पार्टी को EVM मशीन के नतीजों पर शक हो तो चुनाव आयोग का ये कर्तव्य बनता है कि इसकी जांच हो। जो वोटर है उसके अंदर विश्वास होना चाहिए कि जिसको हम वोट दे रहे हैं वो वोट वैसा ही पड़ रहा है। अगर हमारे अंदर कोई आशंका है या संदेह है तो भारत एक ऐसा देश है जहाँ लार्जर डेमोक्रेसी है, हम डेमोक्रेसी है और टेक्नॉलोजी पर गर्व करते हैं तो उस गर्व पर कोई कलंक ना लगे तो उसके लिए चुनाव आयोग अगर जांच करना चाहे तो को इस पर हमें कोई आप्पत्ति नहीं है। केजरीवाल जी ने पंजाब के बारे में भी यही कहा है। जिस पार्टी को अपने उपर आत्मविश्वास है, लोगों के फैसले पर आत्मविश्वास है तो उस पार्टी को किसी जांच से नहीं ड़रना चाहिए। जो जांच से ड़रेगा इसका मतलब उसके अंदर कोई आशंका है कि इन तरीकों को हमने अपनाया या इस्तेमाल किया। तो कांग्रेस पार्टी को जो वोट मिले हैं वो जनता का फैसला है। अगर वो कोई जांच कराना चाहें वो करा सकते हैं। हमें उस पर कोई आप्पत्ति नहीं है।
एक अन्य प्रश्न पर कि जो लोग राहुल जी की आलोचना कर रहे हैं वो लोग कह रहे हैं कि राहुल जी मिलने का समय नहीं दे रहे हैं, इसके उत्तर में कु. सुष्मिता देव ने कहा कि हर पार्टी में हार-जीत रहती है। इंडिया शाईनिंग से बीजेपी गिर गई थी। आज जो लोग राहुल जी की आलोचना कर रहे हैं आज उनको पूछना चाहते हैं कि उस पैमाने से अगर हम देखें तो वाजपेयी जी का तो नाम ही नहीं लेना चाहिए। तो हार जीत तो हर पार्टी में रहती है इसका मतलब ये नहीं कि उस नेता की आलोचना में हम इतना आगे बढ़ जाएं कि पीछे ना लौट सकें।
On the question as to how the Congress Party will manage Four MLAs in the Floor Test tomorrow, Ms. Dev said how I can disclose as to what our strategy is going to be. I come from a constituency from Assam and I am actually sharing the Border with Jiribam and I can tell you that it will be, I think, a challenging task for us - reason I would say is not only because people are not with us, it is because the means that are being used by the BJP whether it is the CISF who actually picks an MLA and takes him which happened in Jiribam, to fight that with the Government of the Day, which is sitting in the Centre, is going to be a herculean task but I can tell you something. It is a challenge we want to take up and we are going to fight as hard as possible but clearly we have no intentions of taking any means or using any means or resources that is not within the permitted lines of persuasion beyond the Congress Party will not make any attempts which are outside the Law.
On the question that some people are resigning from the Congress Party and also about the organizational elections, Ms. Dev said she does not think resignation is the answer to what has unfolded in the results of the Five State Assembly elections. I would say that if a General Secretary resigns, I think, we should applaud him for doing that in the AICC or PCC. I hope that the people who are in the AICC who are in the PCC, we can all work together to change the fortunes of Congress Party like we have done in Punjab, like we have done in Goa and frankly in Manipur I have to say that our CM Ibibo Ji has done commendable job given the law and order situation in Manipur. No one was expecting us to win. So, clearly I would say that as a team, we have proved that Prime Minister Modi's 'Congress-Mukt Bharat' as a slogan has failed, as a consequence of the results of the Five Assembly elections.
On the question whether the Congress Party is supporting the Election Commission in the matter of EVMs used in the recently concluded five State Assembly elections, Ms. Dev said we have a very clear stand whether it comes to booth capturing, whether it comes to tampering of EVMs, whether it comes to complaint by any Party or using any unlawful or illegal means, Congress is a party which will not oppose the investigation because we are confident and we are not a party to any such thing in Punjab or in Manipur or in Goa or in UP or in any other State. At the same time, India is a country which takes pride in its democracy, takes pride in its electoral system and if any Party casts a doubt on it, Congress as a Party fears no investigation, please go right ahead and investigate because we have used no such means to get any result this way or that way. As a party we have always held the view the VVPATT paper trail machine should be used in all EVMs in order to rule out and doubt or possibility of tampering. You have seen that Shri Ajay Maken has also written a letter, he has tweeted it and he said that it is not about a Party, it is about the confidence of the people. People should be confident that their vote is going to who they want and like any other alleged crime or alleged unlawful practice, as any even in a Police Station or right from the Election Commission, why should Congress Party stand in the way of any other party asking for an investigation and let the truth come out. We have no problem with that.
On the reaction of the Congress Party on 46 Fatwas issued in Assam, Ms. Dev said as a young person myself and as a woman, I would like to say that she is young and she is talented and I think we should keep that in mind as a Nation and as public representatives that to treat this with some sensitivity. I do not think I would like to comment so much on the Fatwas but I feel that she is young and she is talented and as a Nation, we should be sensitive and recognize that.
On the tweet of Ms. Priya Dutt on the induction of younger generation in to the organization, Ms. Dev said I have not say something, I have not read Priya Dutt Ji's tweet but I have never, from my personal experience, known to not hear anybody out. So, I would request and hope that all of us, we may have something to say and we should go with an open mind and speak to our Vice President. There is no harm in it and if Ms. Priya Dutt Ji wants to interact with Shri Rahul Gandhi Ji, I am sure that he will be happy to meet her and discuss it with her.