On Board Air India One, Oct 1 IANS | 10 months ago

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday said 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."


The prime minister also ruled out his resignation.

"Well I am not the master of what people say. It has happened and as I said when I go back I will try to find out the reasons why it had to be done that way and how do we handle it," the prime minister told reporters when asked whether Gandhi should have raised the issue of ordinance when he was away in the US for bilateral talks.

On being asked whether he was upset by the public denounciation of the ordinance passed by the cabinet, he said : "I think, I have been used to ups and downs and I don't get easily upset."

The prime minister was speaking to reporters on board his special aircraft while returning from New York after attending the UN General Assembly session.

The prime minister also said that he will also discuss the matter with Gandhi.

Gandhi at a press conference had trashed the ordinance, saying that it was "complete nonsense" and should be "torn up and thrown away."

The prime minister said the ordinance was discussed twice by the cabinet and also by the Congress core group, the top decision-making body.

On being asked whether the government was planning to junk the controversial ordinance and whether he was considering resigning because his position has been undermined, the prime minister said : "There was no question of resigning."

"Well, I think, I have seen Rahul Gandhi's statement. He has written to me on this subject also and let me say that when issues are raised in a democracy, in a democratic polity, right courses to start with and trying to understand what is it agitating the mind of the concerned people," he added.

He said Gandhi has asked for a meeting and he will discuss the matter with him.

"..I will also take my cabinet colleagues also into confidence. We will see which way the wind blows," he said on whether the ordinance will be withdrawn by the cabinet.

"Well, there is no question of resigning. I said I will put all these issues before my cabinet colleagues. These are all matters, which are discussed before the highest body, the core group of the Congress party," he added.

"The cabinet discussed this matter twice, not once. But it is always possible to change one's mind and I will consult my colleagues on all these issues," he added.

On being asked whether any person, however, senior should undermine the decisions taken by the cabinet and core group, he said: "No, I don't feel that way."

"I honestly feel that if there is an important point of view, any member of the Congress Party, any member of my cabinet is free to raise issues and require reconsideration of issues.

"I think that's what a democracy is about. I don't think we are an authoritarian structure in which one person lays down the line all the way and therefore my humble feeling is that when a point of view has been expressed, we must sit together and understand what is agitating the mind of the person who has raised these issue and that's what we will do," he added.

(Posted on 01-10-2013)