The Congress seems to be facing greater complications with respect to the impeachment motion proposed by it against the sitting Chief Justice of India, Justice Dipak Misra. While the Congress started the process with great enthusiasm it soon became clear that the party ranks, including its top brass, is divided to the core on the issue of the impeachment motion. In fact, senior leader and renowned advocate Salman Khurshid has already refrained from signing the motion which seems to have been initiated with mischievous political motives. He has denied any involvement in the motion brought against the CJI. Even P. Chidambaram, another top Congress leader and a lawyer, has refused to sign the petition. More importantly, the former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh has refrained from being involved in the controversial motion. It seems that the impeachment motion has backfired badly for the Congress and opposition is coming not only from the outside but within the party as well.
In yet another manifestation of fissures within the Congress over the impeachment motion, senior Congress leader and former Union Law minister, Ashwani Kumar has remarked that the petition for impeachment of the sitting CJI, Dipak Misra, should have been avoided. Without going into the merits of the impeachment motion initiated by the Congress among other opposition factions, Ashwani Kumar stated that impeachment is an extreme step. Ashwani Kumar, a lawyer by profession, further opined that he abides by the larger principle which is that an impeachment motion must be resorted to only in the rarest of rare circumstances. According to him, an impeachment motion in the present circumstances is unprecedented. It must be borne in mind that Ashwani Kumar is a steadfast Congress leader who had gone to the extent of tampering with CBI’s status report during the Coalgate scam.
In fact, the CBI had admitted before the Supreme Court that the coal scam report was shared with the law ministry. It appeared that the government in general and Ashwani Kumar in particular had made an attempt to interfere with the CBI enquiry into the irregularities in allocation of coal blocks. In a shocking admission, CBI director, Ranjit Sinha had told the Supreme Court that Ashwani Kumar had made changes in the CBI report. It included deleting a sentence that dealt with the legality of allocation of coal blocks within the scope of CBI enquiry. The fact that those who were absolutely loyal to the party and the family within the party are now taking a different line suggests a deep rift within the party. Someone who could manipulate even an official report to save particular people is now talking of virtuosity and respect for institutions.
It appears that the Congress is in deep waters. The top leadership itself is disunited leave alone the question of the party ranks acting as a united bunch. There is palpable disillusionment towards the short-sighted high command and the party is not speaking in one voice even on the fundamental issues. The impeachment motion seems to be nothing but the handiwork of a bunch of sycophants attached to the royal family. However, the problem for the Congress and the royal family within the Congress is that even the core group of sycophants is shrinking quickly. The fact remains that some of the most loyal leaders have taken antagonistic stands on the issue of impeachment motion. The Congress in the recent past has taken a number of suicidal moves, but this one seems to be the most lethal and deadly of all.