Prime minister Manmohan Singh never wanted the ordinance on convicted lawmakers. It was Congress president Sonia Gandhi who pushed for it.
A senior minister in the know of things revealed that Gandhi overruled Singh at the Congress core group meeting on September 20. The prime minister had expressed his reservations against pushing through the ordinance. He argued that it would give a bad name to the party, but relented on finding the Congress president adamant.
Now that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has had his way and the ordinance’s been scrapped, it will be Singh who will be the happiest. For, his reservations against the ordinance have been proved right by none other than Rahul.
Though reports have been doing the rounds that Rahul asserted his extra-constitutional authority and left Singh embarrassed, it is actually Sonia Gandhi who’s been left red-faced at the end.
Rahul apparently praised Singh when he met him on Wednesday morning for expressing his reservations against the ordinance at the previous core group meeting.
The developments also show that it is Rahul who wields the maximum power in the Congress. Now that the ordinance’s been scrapped, a motion will be moved during the winter session of Parliament to withdraw the bill.
Party insiders say this is not the first time Rahul exercised his powers and overturned a government decision. On Sep 29, 2010, he saved his friend and J&K CM Omar Abdullah from being dislodged in the wake of massive protests and killing of over 100 youth in Kashmir.
Just before a CWC and party’s Kashmir committee meeting, Rahul praised Omar, saying “he is doing a tough job”, at a meeting in Kolkata. Later, he called on then home minister P Chidambaram and cautioned him against dislodging Omar.