Ordinance bombshell: Have highest respect for PM, says Rahul Gandhi

By Deepak Nagpal | Last Updated: Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 10:58

Zee Media Bureau/Deepak Nagpal

New Delhi: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, after dropping the ordinance bombshell on Friday, has sought to placate Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

In an e-mailed letter to the PM, Rahul said he has the highest respect for him and looks up to him for his wisdom.

"You know that I have the highest respect for you and I look up to you for your wisdom. I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the manner in which you are providing leadership in extremely difficult circumstances," Rahul wrote in the letter.

The email followed Rahul`s shocking remarks at a press conference here earlier in the day yesterday, in which he said the ordinance promulgated by the UPA government on convicted lawmakers was "nonsense" and should be torn up and thrown away.

The ordinance was cleared by the Union Cabinet and the Congress core group, which also includes party chief Sonia Gandhi – Rahul Gandhi`s mother.

Sonia Gandhi too sought to intervene in the matter and spoke to the PM last evening over phone, assuring the latter – who is in the US – of Congress party`s full support.

The call followed widespread criticism of Rahul and belief that the statement has undermined the position of Manmohan Singh as the prime minister.

Rahul, too, appeared to be in damage control mode in his letter, stating, "I know it would be exploited by our political opponents." He also acknowledged that his remarks on the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers were "not in harmony with the Cabinet decision or the core group`s view".

He concluded the letter by expressing hope that Dr Singh "will understand the strength of his conviction".

The PM, amid talk that the government would now withdraw the ordinance following Rahul`s remarks and the President too expressing apprehensions about it, said in Washington, "The Congress vice-president has also written to me on the issue and also made a statement... The issues raised will be considered on my return to India after due deliberations in the Cabinet."

The controversial ordinance negates a Supreme Court order that states elected lawmakers convicted and sentenced to over two years in jail will be disqualified immediately.

First Published: Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 09:20

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