NEW DELHI: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday spoke about his sensational outburst against the government’s questionable bid to shield convicted lawmakers.
“My mother ( Sonia Gandhi) told me words I used were wrong, but my sentiment was not,” Rahul Gandhi said about trashing the ordinance as nonsense.
“I have the right to voice my opinion; a large part of Congress party wanted it,” Rahul Gandhi said on the withdrawal of the ordinance on convicted lawmakers.
Facing rising public anger and bowing to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s wishes, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday took barely 20 minutes to junk the contentious ordinance protecting convicted lawmakers from immediate disqualification.
The Cabinet not just scrapped the ordinance but also decided to withdraw the bill, currently before a parliamentary standing committee, that aims to negate the Supreme Court’s July 10 ruling that convicted MPs, MLAs and MLCs shall be immediately unseated.
The course reversal happened within minutes, seeming as if it was a different cast of characters who cleared the ordinance for promulgation on September 9.
The Congress vice-president sensationally shot down the government’s questionable bid to shield convicted lawmakers on Friday when he strode into a press interaction to denounce the ordinance as “nonsense” and suggest that it be “torn up and thrown away”.
Rahul’s intervention, aimed at reversing an unpopular decision, was intended to buffer the government from a public backlash the leader felt was building up against the government at a time when Congress faced a stiff electoral test in four major states.
He made the point plainly during a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday morning when he said the ordinance was out of sync with the public mood, setting the stage for its formal burial through the Cabinet process.
The decision to withdraw the ordinance and the bill was endorsed by the Congress core group that met briefly in the morning. The Cabinet meeting, it was felt, would also record the views of UPA partners and so a meeting of the UPA coordination committee was not deemed to be necessary.