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Odious Ordinance: Who is speaking the truth - Congress or BJP?

By Ajith Vijay Kumar | Last Updated: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 13:43

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: While the UPA government under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has buried the Ordinance to save convicted MPs and MLAs from immediate disqualification, a political fight has broken out between political parties – mainly between the Congress and the BJP – over credit for the move that came after the Ordinance was widely criticised.

The Congress, expectedly, wants the honour badge on party vice president Rahul Gandhi’s shoulder. Party leaders assert that it was Rahul’s open opposition to the government’s move to save convicted MPs from disqualification that forced the government’s hand on the matter.

Rahul had last week triggered a political storm by denouncing the Ordinance as “nonsense” and suggested that it be “torn” and “thrown away”.

The Cabinet had on September 24 approved the Ordinance which sought to negate the Supreme Court order of July 10 which ruled that any lawmaker would stand immediately disqualified if convicted by a court.

However, the BJP, expectedly, is not willing to cede all praise to Rahul. The main opposition party had gone to President Pranab Mukherjee to request him to not clear the Ordinance.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the Ordinance was brought about with great speed, without any consideration of morality.
"Now suddenly we see a change. But it has nothing to do with morality, legality or constitutionality. It has to do with dynasty," he said.

"This also proves what we have been saying that the PM does not matter but only the family matters," he added.

Prasad’s party colleague Meenakshi Lekhi said, "It is BJP`s pressure, which has won. And it is the opinion of the people of this country".

"So it is not the initiative of Rahul Gandhi. It is the opinion of the Supreme Court, the people and the pressure exerted by the opposition, which has won," she said.

The Congress hit back with the claim that the BJP is now crying horse after having supported the ordinance. Party leader and MP Satyavrat Chaturvedi was quoted as saying that he will resign from his post if it is proven that the BJP had opposed the Ordinance.

Charging Congress with spreading "complete falsehood" about her party`s stand on the controversial legislation on convicted lawmakers, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said her party has consistently opposed both the Bill and the Ordinance.

In a series of posts on the social networking site Twitter, Swaraj said that at an all-party meeting held to discuss the proposed legislation, four choices were placed before the leaders but there were divergent views and no consensus could emerge.

Sushma further said that after the all-party meeting, Finance minister P Chidambaram and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath had told her that all the four options should be sent to the Standing Committee for thorough deliberation.

"After the Bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha, (Law Minister) Kapil Sibal met Arun (Jaitley) and me in my Chamber and we made our opposition very categoric and clear. We told Kapil Sibal that the Bill was wrong and unconstitutional. It was because of our opposition that the Bill was referred to the Standing Committee," Swaraj said.

She said when the Ordinance was approved, the BJP had voiced opposition on day one and requested the President not to sign it.

"We said the Ordinance was immoral, illegal and unconstitutional. We opposed the Bill. We opposed the Ordinance. What Congress is spreading since morning is complete falsehood," Swaraj tweeted.

First Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 - 10:31

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