Ordinance on convicted lawmakers: Loss of face for Manmohan Singh?

Manmohan was forced to bow to the diktat of the Congress VP.

Zee Media Bureau/Manisha Singh

New Delhi: Finally, Manmohan was forced to bow to the diktat of the Congress vice president and the union cabinet on Wednesday withdrew the ordinance and the bill to protect convicted lawmakers. And now it is being said that what Rahul did has only brought to the fore the fault-lines between the party and the government and has showcased the fact that the scion of the Gandhi family can overturn the decision of the Cabinet whenever he wants. In fact, the BJP has been emphasising again and again that if the PM had any self-respect, he would resign.

While reacting to the decision by the Cabinet today, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said that the move only reinforced the fact that it was only the dynasty that mattered in the end and that the ordinance was withdrawn not because of morality and constitutionality. The BJP also said that it proved that Manmohan Singh was a weak PM.

But putting up a brave face, the PM told the journalists that he was used to ups and downs and that there was no question of him resigning.

What Rahul said on September 27 at the Press Club of India raised a storm and sent his party and his government in a tizzy. And people do have a point when they say that the PM has been embarrassed. And why only the PM, other senior Congress leaders who were part of the Congress decision have also been embarrassed.

Meanwhile, questions are also being asked as to why Rahul did what he did and why he did not react on the ordinance earlier. While some say it was aimed at enhancing his image and telling the people of the country that he was capable of taking tough decisions, others are saying that it signals a change in guard in the Congress party.

For a man who is often accused of not speaking enough on various issues and not letting his emotions show, this was probably saying a lot on Manmohan Singh`s part. And this statement was also being construed as the PM being upset at the way Rahul termed the ordinance as `nonsense`, especially when Manmohan Singh was abroad. In fact Rahul also categorically said what the government had done and that the ordinance should be torn and thrown away. Thus, what must have hurt the PM was not much as Rahul`s opposition to the ordinance but the language which the Congress vice president used.

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