New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi`s blunt denouncement of the Ordinance on lawmakers was on Friday rubbished by the Opposition with the BJP calling it a "desperate and belated" damage control exercise and saying Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should quit if he had any self-respect.
As the Congress Vice President`s dramatic public attack on the government over the Ordinance raised the political temperature, BJP leader Arun Jaitley said it is a "belated realisation of nonsense" and that those responsible in the government for the Ordinance should resign.
Trinamool Congress` Saugata Roy said Rahul`s attack is an "orchestrated" move and demonstrated confusion within the Congress while CPI`s Gurudas Das Gupta said it was "most belated." CPI-M`s Brinda Karat wondered why Rahul was reacting after so many days when the Ordinance is now before President Pranab Mukherjee.
The Ordinance circumvents a Supreme Court order that automatically disqualifed convicted lawmakers.
"If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has any self respect left then I think he should call it a day because the supercop who can correct the system has arrived on the scene," said BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi.
Jaitley also asked the Prime Minister to react to Rahul`s remarks.
"The country is waiting to see whether the Prime Minister has any self-respect left ...Whether he accepts this compliment of being called nonsense or does he react for the honour of his own government," he said when asked whether Rahul`s statement is seen as a political gimmick.
Noting that Rahul`s attack is a "desperate damage control" exercise, Jaitley said it`s only when the "revulsion is built, the Congress party is trying to cut its losses."
"Belated realisation of what the Congress party now calls nonsense. The heads which brought out this nonsense twice in the last one month must roll. It is a charade to show the government can make a mistake, but the Congress`s first family doesn`t," he added.
Jaitley`s colleague Murli Manohar Joshi said an "escape route" is being plotted by the Congress after committing a "blunder" while another BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi asked, "Is this a government or a theatrical production?.
"Now that he (Rahul) speaks about it most belatedly, this is not bad, this is good... This statement is coming to take credit," said Gurudas Das Gupta.