Rahul attack causes political tremors

PTI, NEW DELHI/WASHINGTON | 27 September 2013 22:52 IST

An unexpected and blunt attack by Rahul Gandhi today on the ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers caused political tremors with his description of it as "complete nonsense" being seen as sharp criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Using tough language, Rahul made a rare and dramatic appearance before journalists to denounce the ordinance as "complete nonsense" and a document that "should be torn up and thrown away". 

Rahul's strong criticism during an unscheduled media interaction at Delhi's Press Club took place while the prime minister was sleeping in his suite in a Washington hotel, hours before his meeting with President Barack Obama. 

In a brief reaction later, the Prime Minister said in Washington that the ordinance cleared by the Cabinet has been a matter of much public debate. Rahul had written to him on the issue and also made a statement. 

"The government is seized of all these developments. The issues raised will be considered on my return to India after due deliberations in the Cabinet," he said in a statement. 

With Rahul taking a public stand against it and writing to the prime minister, there is little doubt that the fate of the ordinance, now before President Pranab Mukherjee, is sealed.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was apparently taken by surprise by Rahul Gandhi's attack on the ordinance on lawmakers but "will deal with the matter" only on his return to India next week.


The Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's blunt denunciation of the controversial ordinance that seeks to negate the Supreme Court verdict immediately disqualifying convicted MPs and MLAs as "complete nonsense" happened in New Delhi while the prime minister was sleeping in his suite in the Four Seasons Hotel here.

Manmohan Singh's aides were woken up by the media seeking reaction to Rahul Gandhi's attack including the comment that the government decision on the ordinance, which is now before President Pranab Mukherjee, was "wrong".

No immediate reaction was forthcoming but PMO sources said that Singh would "deal with the matter" only on his return to New Delhi on Oct 1.

The PM Manmohan Singh's aides, who were preparing for Singh's meeting with President Barack Obama later in the day, went into a huddle after Rahul Gandhi's presser, but refrained from making any public comments.

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