New Delhi, Sept. 30: The Congress today formally said it now expected the Union cabinet to withdraw the ordinance that aims to shield convicted lawmakers, though it struggled to defend Rahul Gandhi’s manner of criticising it.
Government sources said the cabinet would meet on Wednesday to take a call on the ordinance, which Rahul had on Saturday described as a “complete nonsense” that should be “torn up and thrown away”, PTI reported.
Following Rahul’s comments at the Press Club of India, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said the issue would be “considered on my return to India after due deliberations in the cabinet”.
Asked what the party expected from the government now, spokesperson Sandeep Dikshit said: “Rahul’s view is the party’s view. Let’s hope his feeling will be taken into consideration when the cabinet takes up the matter.”
Party sources informally said there was no question of promulgating the ordinance and that the government had realised its “mistake”. They said the dominant view in the party was that the Supreme Court order was flawed and required to be “de-legislated”, but bringing an ordinance was politically unwise. A bill on the matter is now before a House standing committee.
“Why take the blame by bringing in the ordinance? Take the parliamentary route, have a studied response through the standing committee,” a party source said.
Many leaders said party workers across the country were “very happy” and fully endorsed Rahul’s move. Some of them argued that Rahul had earlier compelled the government to send to a standing committee the bill moved to exempt political parties from the Right to Information Act’s ambit, but was denied credit. So, a public pronouncement of his “frustration” with the system was needed.
“At a time Narendra Modi is indulging in meaningless rhetoric, we need a leader who shows real action in cleansing politics. It is immaterial if we achieve that by causing some damage to the government’s reputation,” a senior leader told The Telegraph.