Will talk to Rahul Gandhi on ordinance, no question of resigning: PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that he will try to "find out the reasons" why Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had chosen to rubbish a government ordinance that shields convicted lawmakers "that way."

Updated: Oct 02, 2013, 00:56 AM IST

Zee Media Bureau

On Board PM`s special aircraft: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said that he will try to "find out the reasons" why Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had chosen to rubbish a government ordinance that shields convicted lawmakers "that way."

Dr Singh said this a day ahead of the Union Cabinet meeting on the issue of withdrawing the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers.

“Once I return, I will find out the reasons why it had to be done that way. And discuss with my colleagues on how to deal with it,” he said while interacting with journalists during his return trip from the US.

An apparently upset Prime Minister also ruled out his resignation over the issue and said, “There is no question of resigning.” When quizzed further by the reporters whether he was upset with the Rahul Gandhi episode, PM said that he doesn`t get upset easily as “he is used to ups and downs.”

Dr Singh also categorically rejected suggestions that Rahul Gandhi`s outburst over the issue undermined his authority.

The Prime Minister, while stressing that there is a need to find out how to handle the issue, said, “I have seen Rahul Gandhi’s statement on the issue and he has written to me on the subject too. When a point of view has been expressed, we must sit together and understand the frame of mind of the person.”

On the question of withdrawing the controversial ordinance, Dr Singh said, "I will discuss it with my colleagues and see which way the wind is blowing."

When asked whether he was upset over the events that have taken place since the Union Cabinet approved the ordinance and the political drama involving Rahul Gandhi, he said, “We are not an authoritarian structure in which one person lays the line all the way,” he added.

Speaking on the 2014 General Elections, Dr Manmohan Singh also made a big political statement and called for a secular front to fight what he called the "onslaught" of Narendra Modi.

"I sincerely hope all the secular forces will combine to combat the onslaught of people like Narendra Modi. You will see it`s a matter of time before people realize what they are up against," Dr Singh said while on his way back from his trip to the United States.

The Prime Minister also clarified on the recent controversy of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif calling him a ‘dehati aurat’ (village woman) by saying that his Pakistani counterpart denied making any such statement.

He, however, termed his meeting with Sharif as very “useful” and said that the two agreed to do all that is required to bring peace and stability in the region.

On the issue of normalising ties with Pakistan, he said that peace on the LoC is the first step towards it. He said that the Directors General of Military Operations of the two sides will meet and discuss the issues on the border in Jammu and Kashmir.

“It (the relationship with Pakistan) is at a stage in a sense that we are moving forward towards normalisation of our relations and the first step has to be peace and tranquility on the Line of Control,” he said.
He also said that formation of Telangana is on his government`s highest priority and he will soon check on the status of its implementation.

The Prime Minister made these remarks days after Rahul Gandhi had denounced the ordinance calling it “nonsense” and that it should be “torn up and thrown away”.

PM’s meeting with Rahul will be held ahead of the crucial meet of the Union Cabinet, which is likely to take a decision on withdrawing the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers.

In a bid to control the damage, he had later sent an e-mail to PM stating that he respects him and has looks upto him for wisdom.

The ordinance was cleared by the Union Cabinet and the Congress Core Group, which also includes party chief Sonia Gandhi. She later spoke to the PM assuring him of party’s support.
As the ordinance was the proposal of the Law Ministry, Law Minister Kapil Sibal may raise the issue in the Cabinet. He could bring a proposal to withdraw the earlier Cabinet recommendation to the President to promulgate the ordinance.

Sources also did not rule out the possibility of Cabinet awaiting the decision of the President on the ordinance.

After issues were raised against the ordinance, PM had assured of a cabinet meeting to deliberate on these issues after his return.

(With PTI Inputs)