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Rahul denounces ordinance on lawmakers
Updated: Apr 24, 2014 05:30 AM , By PTI | 66 comments
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addresses a press conference in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty
“It is complete nonsense, it should be torn up and thrown away”

In a major embarrassment to the UPA government, Rahul Gandhi on Friday denounced the controversial ordinance to negate the Supreme Court verdict on convicted lawmakers as “complete nonsense” and said what “our government has done is wrong“.

Making a surprise brief appearance at a meet-the-press programme of his party’s general secretary Ajay Maken at the Press Club in New Delhi, he said the ordinance should be “torn up and thrown away”.

Storming into the programme, the Congress vice-president said before coming there he asked Mr. Maken about what was happening and Mr. Maken gave him a political line about the ordinance that “everybody will give you, the Congress will give you, the BJP will give you“.

“Now, I will tell you what is my opinion on the ordinance. It is complete nonsense, it should be torn up and thrown away. It is my personal opinion,” he said.

Mr. Rahul said that the arguments given in “my organisation” is that “we need to do this because of political considerations. Everybody is doing this. The Congress does this, the BJP does this, the Samajwadi Party, the JD(U) does this.”

“It is time to stop this nonsense, political parties, mine and all others....If you want to fight corruption in the country whether it is Congress Party or BJP, we cannot continue making these small compromises. Because if we make these small compromises, then we compromise everywhere.”

At this point, Mr. Rahul got up from his seat to leave the venue but when journalists persisted, he resumed his seat as a barrage of questions flowed.

“I am interested in what the Congress party is doing and what our government is doing. That is why what our government has done as far as this ordinance is concerned is wrong,” he said and left the venue.

After he left, Mr. Maken, who heads the Congress media department, said, “What Rahul Gandhi has said is our party policy“.

Mr. Rahul’s dramatic and open denunciation of the ordinance comes a day after President Pranab Mukherjee called three ministers -- Home, Law and Parliamentary Affairs -- and raised questions over the need for an ordinance on an issue on which there was no political consensus.

The President is understood to have asked the ministers what was the urgency to bring an ordinance when there was a bill already pending before Parliament on the issue.

Government spokespersons have been maintaining that there was an all-party consensus on the need for a bill to negate the Supreme Court judgement that struck down a provision in the electoral law which allowed a convicted MP and MLA to continue in their post if they make an appeal to a higher court within three months.

The all-party meeting was held on August 13 in which the government claimed that the main opposition BJP was also in favour of the legislation to negate the Supreme Court judgement.

However, after the Union Cabinet cleared the ordinance on Tuesday, the BJP and the Left parties have attacked it as "unconstitutional and immoral”. Many civil society members and organisations also opposed the ordinance.

Yesterday a high-level BJP delegation led by L K Advani met the President and urged him to return it to the government for reconsideration.

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Showing 10 latest comments
  • As per the constitution made before 1950. The leaders of the country has written in the constitution " no person has the right to be a candidate for the election who has been convicted for two or more years. no person has right to be a minister or MP as he/ she is convicted. the country is being spoiled by the ruling government. god know at which path the country is going on.
    From: anil kumar
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:21 IST
  • Poli'TRICKS'.....Mr.Gandhi proved that he has, what it takes to be another (well trained) politician who is gearing up to take more out of this limping Democracy.....
    From: Harish Nair
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:16 IST
  • Sir, He is number 2 in the congress party, he kept quiet till it goes to President but after public outcry he is acting as if he was not aware of this ordinance, its nothing but cheap politics.
    From: narayan
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:16 IST
  • Congratulations to Rahul Gandhi for coming out strongly against the ordinance, intended to nullify the Supreme Court judgments disqualifying MPs and MLAs on being convicted, as approved by the Cabinet and placed before the President for approval. He has rightly put it as ‘complete nonsense’. His opinion, no doubt, matters. He can expect a voter-sympathy on this count. However, he could have shown some restraint in suddenly entering into a Press meet being managed by a General Secretary of his party and expressing his personal opinion there and leaving, again suddenly. Actually, Rahul had had enough time to comment on the ordinance before it was passed by the Cabinet and sent to the President. Even the Opposition had come out clearly on the topic. One can only sympathise with the party and its general secretary who could only say, after Rahul left, that “what Rahul Gandhi has said is our party policy”.
    From: P.R.V.Raja
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:15 IST
  • It seems like a political drama of the congress party..
    From: Mumtaz Jahan
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:05 IST
  • Confusing! It's tough to believe what Rahul Gandhi said.
    From: Prateek Prajapati
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:03 IST
  • Better late than never ! Question why Mr. Rahul Gandhi, Vice President of Congress didn't negate the political move to pass an ordinance ahead of elections without waiting for pending bill on the issue ? Wasn't then he interested in what his party and government is doing earlier ? He stated in press conference that he is interested in his party and government matters. Only sense in his calling the ordinance as nonsense is that he has read lines of public opposition to such a corruption protecting ordinance move. Thanks Mr. Rahul , keep the same spirit in your political life.
    From: Gajanan Ukhalkar
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:03 IST
  • Mr. Rahul Gandhi, I suppose you and Sonia Gandhi are the whole and sole of the Govt. and if u make a statement with "Should" then it must be done.. still if u are making such statements without actually taking any coercive action in this regard inspite of having your own Govt. , is a straight-forward indicator that either u are trying to cajole people by word or ur party is not considering u mature enough to make decisions based on ur statements...
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:03 IST
  • Ordinance is delayed, but sure this bill be passed in both houses, because the Netas have become habituated in making fun of the democracy, till the public allow them to do so. This is India!
    From: Mukesh
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:01 IST
  • Everybody in India knows that this is stage managed. What was Rahul doing for the last two days? Passing negative comments about his own govt. is just to earn cheap publicity. Its for sure that the people of India won't spare corrupt politicians.
    From: Sajin S
    Posted: Sep 27, 2013 at 16:01 IST