Interview: ‘Lost states because of top money’ says MP Cong Abhishek Singhvi | Latest India News
Senior attorney and Congressman Abhishek Manu Singhvi has been involved in some of the most high-profile legal battles in recent years. Singhvi, who was recently inducted into the Congress Labor Committee, in an interview with Saubhadra Chatterji, shares his experiences as a legal expert and key opposition party leader.
Your book “From the Trenches” contains details of the legal battle in the formation of the Karnataka government in 2018. You won the case but a year later the BJP returned to power.
The intellectual thrill and excitement of a business well done, whatever the outcome, is hard to explain. Many of these cases, including Karnataka, have given me this immense satisfaction. Quite frankly, the political outcome depresses me but in no way distracts me from what is happening in court.
From Karnataka to Maharashtra, non-BJP parties have failed to retain power in many states.
Many states are robbed, majority are fabricated by immoral BJP. Yes, we lost these states because of the superior financial power of the BJP. I can now see where the 95% of the campaign bond funds are being used. We have lost some states to the climate of fear, successfully created by the Modi government through the misuse of central agencies.
In the book, you also wrote about the Tata Sons v. Cyrus Mistry case. Does it require quite a different preparation when you fight such cases against political cases?
The syntax, idioms, and framework of these cases are very different. One straddles commercial law, the serious stuff, issues like commercial law. The other is largely the Constitution, public laws and its canvas is gigantic. The gaps where creativities can operate are also much more in public laws.
What do you think of the July 1 SC observations on Nupur Sharma which led to intense discussion on social media?
First, no one is suggesting that these observations are binding. Therefore, the criticism against the Supreme Court is totally unjustified. Also, when you decide to seize the Supreme Court for its beneficial protection, you must necessarily run the risk not only of being dismissed but also of undergoing oral observations which fall within the jurisdiction of the court.
In this case, what the court said was extremely important because it showed that they were not satisfied despite the binding nature of another judgment cited to seek relief. It was something that should have come from the Supreme Court much earlier as SC is an integral part of the dialectic of Indian democracy.
Your book is about the Sabarimala case. As a lawyer, how do you manage the risk of representing an issue in which your party has taken an opposing position?
The sad and unfortunate truth is that yes, although I totally disagree with the principle. I suffered from it twice. My love for animals came into direct conflict when I appeared in the Jallikattu case.
My belief is that a lawyer cannot choose or judge his clients. I always like to give the example of the case of the assassination of Indira Gandhi. No one thought any of the defendants had a chance but Ram Jethmalani pursued the case and it even cost him his membership in the BJP national executive.
Your appointment to the CWC comes at a time when many leaders of your party are asking to be elected, not appointed, to the CWC.
There is always, and there should be, a mixed component in the highest decision-making bodies. This combination includes candidates, elected officers and guests. I agree with you that the CWC should have elected leaders and it will happen soon in the next organizational polls.
The presidential election has once again highlighted the unease of many opposition parties to join Congress. Do you still hope for opposition unity in 2024?
No party has suggested that Congress can be kept out of a combination of opposition. Even if a party harbored such ideas, it would be counterproductive. Remember that at the height of its popularity, the BJP still does not get more than 39% of the vote. In 2024, it must be an alliance at the state level. The question of leadership is no longer relevant now. We must adopt a scientific way of allocating seats among our partners to defeat the BJP.
Is it even possible to share seats this way?
Yes, it is 100% possible.