The Congress on Friday demanded a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe into the purported WhatsApp chats of Arnab Goswami for breach of national security and violations of Official Secrets Act and book those involved.
The Congress Working Committee, the highest decision making body of the grand old party, passed a resolution to this effect.
The CWC, chaired by Sonia Gandhi earlier discussed the issue along with that of the farmers’ agitation and the COVID-19 vaccination drive and passed three resolutions on each of them.
“The CWC demands a time-bound investigation by a Joint Parliamentary Committee to enquire into the breach of national security, violations of Official Secrets Act and the role of the persons involved. Ultimately, those who are guilty of treacherous behaviour must be brought before the law and punished,” the CWC resolution said.
The CWC expresses its grave concern at the revelations “exposing the sordid conversations that have undoubtedly compromised national security”, it said.
“It is clear that among those involved are persons in the highest echelons of government and there has been a breach of secrecy concerning vital and sensitive military operations. The revelations also point to inexcusable and deliberate subservion of government structures, scandalous and extraneous influence over government policies, and a vicious attack on the independence of the judiciary,” the resolution also said.
It alleged that the “shameful compromise” of the Modi government with non-government players has been exposed.
The CWC also expressed shock that even days after the revelations, the prime minister and central government remained silent on the issue as though the storm will pass.
“Their silence undermines their collusion, complicity and guilt. The storm will not pass and we will hold the central government accountable for compromising national security and aiding India’s adversaries,” the resolution said.
Earlier, in her introductory remarks, Sonia Gandhi said there have been “very disturbing reports” on how national security has been “so thoroughly compromised”.
Referring to former defence minister AK Antony dubbing the leaking of official secrets of military operations as treason, she said the silence from the government’s side on what has been revealed has been deafening.
“Those who give certificates of patriotism and nationalism to others now stand totally exposed,” the Congress chief said.
In another resolution, the CWC demanded that the Centre immediately repeals the three ‘anti-agri’ laws, against which the farmers have launched an agitation for the last over 50 days.
The CWC noted that these three laws impinge upon the constitutional rights of states and constitute the first step in dismantling the three pillars of the edifice of food security built up over the past decades – MSP, public procurement and PDS and also did not pass the test of parliamentary scrutiny as they were bulldozed by muzzling the voice of the opposition.
The resolution further said that the farmers only want repeal of the laws, but the government continues to side-step, malign, deceive and hoodwink the farmers by attempting to tire out, intimidate and divide the farmers.
In another resolution, the CWC said it calls upon the central government to take all necessary steps to overcome the hesitancy among frontline health professionals on COVID-19 vaccination.
“The hesitancy is on account of the blatant politicisation of the regulatory process in order to boost the image of the prime minister.
“The CWC underlines that India’s under-privileged, disadvantages and marginalised sections, particularly the scheduled castes, the scheduled tribes, other backward classes and the poor, need to be administered the vaccine free of charge and within a time-bound period,” KC Venugopal said while reading out the resolution.