"Rahul's statement damaged PMO's dignity"

Guwahati, Sept 28 : : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley on Saturday questioned the dignity of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's statement denounced the ordinance meant to undo the Supreme Court's order that disqualify convicted MPs and MLAs..In Guwahati, Jaitley said the PM's authority has been completely demolished by Rahul Gandhi's statement.

"Manmohan Singh is the PM of the nation but he has not any power. This was once again proved by Rahul's act yesterday," Jaitley said.

"The statement has damaged the dignity of the PMO. How the dignity will be saved by the PM? A question arises," the BJP leader said.

During a day-long visit to Assam, Jaitley took part in a seminar on the issue of illegal immigration in north eastern region of India and inaugurated a book at Guwahati.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Saturday supported Gandhi's statement.

Gandhi on Friday openly disapproved the ordinance and said it should be torn and thrown away.

During a Congress press conference at Delhi Press Club, Gandhi made a brief appearance and said, "The ordinance is a complete nonsense. It should be torn and thrown away."

"We must stop making compromises," he said.

The Union Cabinet on Tuesday cleared an ordinance to undo the Supreme Court's order that disqualify convicted MPs and MLAs.

The ordinance aimed to allow convicted legislators to retain positions if the appeal against the conviction is admitted by a higher court within 90 days.

Earlier, the apex court had refused to consider the government's plea seeking review.

However, it had agreed to review its decision on whether a person in jail has the right to contest elections.

On July 10, the Supreme Court ruled that MPs and MLAs, facing criminal charges, if convicted, would stand disqualified from the date of conviction.

They will stand disqualified even if they appealed to a higher court.

The court had cancelled a provision in the electoral law, which ensures that convicted lawmakers cannot be disqualified if they appeal in a higher court within three months.

--IBNS (Posted on 28-09-2013)

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