New Delhi, Aug. 24: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who claimed that he was the first to suggest the candidature of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for the President’s post, today became the first Opposition leader to criticise Kalam for returning the Ordinance on electoral reforms to the Cabinet.
Yadav issued a press statement condemning the decision and virtually accused the President of relying on “half-baked information or the opinion expressed by drawing-room intellectuals who have no mass base”.
“In future, the President must keep the constitutional convention before acting,” he said.
The Samajwadi leader added that according to the Constitution, the President is empowered to return an Ordinance for reconsideration only under extraordinary situations.
He said returning the Ordinance, which was meant to scuttle the Election Commission’s move to clean politics of criminals and other undesirable elements, was against the dignity of the President’s office.
He pointed it out that the move was also against the spirit of the Constitution.
The Samajwadi chief said returning the Ordinance for reconsideration was “a matter of grave concern” and added that it was “an issue on which all political parties are unanimous”.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi justified the government’s action in sending the Ordinance back to the President because it was framed on the basis of unanimity at two all-party meetings.