New Delhi, Oct 2 IBNS | 12 months ago

The Congress has reportedly decided to withdraw a much-debated ordinance meant to undo the Supreme Court's order that disqualify convicted MPs and MLAs.


Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday morning met senior Congress leaders on the issue.

According to party sources, Singh has even conveyed President Pranab Mukherjee the government's decision to cancel the ordinance.

However, the formal announcement will be made at the Cabinet meeting scheduled to be held here at 6 pm.

"We got feedback on the ordinance from the entire country. It was a collective decision," said Congress spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday morning met Singh at his residence to discuss the ordinance.

According to sources, Rahul clarified his stand on the ordinance and said he will oppose it "at any cost".

However, Congress sources said, Rahul said he did not intend to embarrass Singh by countering his decision.

Ahead of the Cabinet meet on the controversial ordinance, Singh and Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday visited Raj Ghat here to pay their tribute to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

The two leaders laid floral wreaths on Mahatma Gandhi's memorial.

However, Rahul was absent on the occasion.

Singh on Tuesday said he will speak to Rahul over his last week's out burst regarding the ordinance.

"Well, I think, I have seen Mr. 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. When I go back, I will discuss these matters with Mr. Rahul Gandhi. He has asked for a meeting with me and I will also take my Cabinet colleagues in to confidence. We will see which way the wind blows," PM told reporters while returning from the US to India.

Rahul on Sept 27 openly disapproved the ordinance and said it should be torn and thrown away.

During a Congress press conference at Delhi Press Club, Rahul 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 Sept 22 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.

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.

(Posted on 02-10-2013)