Rahul to take over as Cong chief soon: Sonia

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE - NEWS NET­WORK

New Delhi: Congress pres­i­dent Sonia Gandhi on Fri­day con­firmed that her son, Rahul, would soon take over from her as the party chief, mak­ing it clear that on­go­ing or­gan­i­sa­tional polls will clinch the muchawaited gen­er­a­tional change.

“You have been ask­ing this for so many years and it’s now hap­pen­ing,” Sonia Gandhi told a TV chan­nel, point­ing at Rahul Gandhi at a func­tion here. Her com­ments in­di­cate that he is likely to take charge af­ter Di­wali.

Rahul sidestepped the sub- ject by re­fer­ring to a con­tro­versy over BJP pres­i­dent Amit Shah’s son. “What about Jay Shah’s takeover and the huge in­crease in his turnover?” he said, ac­cord­ing to the chan­nel.

The pe­ti­tion­ers had chal­lenged a cen­tral gov­ern­ment di­rec­tive to states to sen­si­tise law-en­forc­ing and in­tel­li­gence de­part­ments to iden­tify and de­port all il­le­gal Ro­hingya mi­grants, who the pe­ti­tion­ers said had come to In­dia to save their lives from bru­tal per­se­cu­tion un­leashed by the Myan­mar army in Rakhine prov­ince.

Me­hta said the is­sue had wide ram­i­fi­ca­tions and the gov­ern­ment, was in talks with Bangladesh and Myan­mar to find a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to il­le­gal mi­gra­tion that threat­ened In­dia’s na­tional se­cu­rity, eco­nomic in­ter­ests and the in­ter­est of the labour class. “Pass­ing such an in­terim or­der was not re­quired as even the pe­ti­tion­ers have not sought it,” he said.

The bench changed its mind and ac­knowl­edged, “There can­not be an iota of doubt that there has to be a broader hu­man­i­tar­ian ap­proach to the is­sue which has come be­fore the court for the first time. But na­tional in­ter­est can­not be kept sec­ondary. A bal­ance has to be struck.”

Af­ter a lot of per­sua­sion by Me­hta, the SC agreed not to pass any in­terim or­der and recorded Fali S Na­ri­man’s sub­mis­sion that if the pe­ti­tion­ers felt there was any ex­i­gency (in event of any gov­ern­ment ac­tion to de­port the Ro­hingya), they would move the court.

The CJI said, “We have devel­oped a tra­di­tion to pro­tect peo­ple in hu­man­i­tar­ian sit­u­a­tions. But we have to see how far the court can go in this is- sue (sic). There are com­pet­ing in­ter­ests. On one side it is na­tional, se­cu­rity, eco­nomic and labour in­ter­ests and on the other side, there are chil­dren, women, in­firm, sick and aged who need pro­tec­tion. A mi­grant hav­ing ter­ror links gets de­prived of hu­man­i­tar­ian con­sid­er­a­tions. But chil­dren, women and in­firm have to be dealt with dif­fer­ently.”

Na­ri­man added it was fal­la­cious on the part of the Cen­tre to ar­gue that the Ro­hingya is­sue was in the ex­ec­u­tive’s ex­clu­sive do­main.

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