New Delhi, Sep 28: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday hit out at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for his remarks on the ordinance for convicted lawmakers, and said his disrespectful comments crossed the lines of civility and signaled that he thought the government could go wrong but his family could not.
“I would like to tell Rahul Gandhi to stop this drama. …It is natural that this was a farce created to claim a belated moral ground without any foundation,” Prasad said.
“The issue impinges upon the integrity and respect of the office of the Prime Minister-that is more important. …Rahul Gandhi has tried to signal that the government can do something wrong, but the family cannot do wrong….This whole intervention, in some way, is designed to create a position of discomfort even for His Excellency the President of India,” Prasad said.
“Even after Dr. Manmohan Singh publicly stated that he was willing to work under Rahul Gandhi after the 2014 general elections, Mr. Rahul Gandhi has the audacity, has the temerity to call a decision taken by your (Manmohan Singh’s) cabinet headed by you utter nonsense, crossing the limits of civility. …Prime Minister, what is your stand? We would like to know from you,” he added.
Furthering the attack on the Congress vice president, Prasad mocked the ruling party who earlier claimed that Rahul Gandhi was their ‘game changer’, and said that even the opposition didn’t belittle Dr. Manmohan Singh the way that his party’s vice president did yesterday.
“Rahul Gandhi speaks little, but yesterday he said too much. They call him a ‘game changer’, but there cannot be a bigger joke than this,” he said.
“Your government is the most corrupt government in independent India, but we never cross the line of civility, even when attacking you. …Mr. Manmohan Singh, we never called you or your actions as nonsense….Dr. Manmohan Singh, despite being a bitter critic of your policy and corruption, we never sought to declare that your bill should be torn away,” he added.
Earlier, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi wrote to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, regarding his views on the ordinance pushed by the Government, after he made a controversial remark on the issue on Friday.
In the letter to the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi wrote: “I realize that what I feel about the Ordinance is not in harmony with the Cabinet decision and the Core Group’s view. I also know it would be exploited by our political opponents. You know that I have the highest respect for you and I look up to you for your wisdom. I have nothing but the greatest admiration for the manner in which you are providing leadership in extremely difficult circumstances. I hope you will understand the strength of my own conviction about this very controversial issue.”
In a major embarrassment to the Congress-led UPA II Government, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi dubbed the ordinance to negate the Supreme Court verdict on convicted lawmakers as ‘complete nonsense’, and said it should be torn up and thrown away.
“I personally think what the government is doing on the ordinance is wrong. It was a political decision, every party does it, and there is a time to stop this nonsense,” he said.
The developments came a day after President Pranab Mukherjee summoned senior Cabinet ministers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal for consultations on the ordinance pending before him for signature.
The Union Cabinet had approved an ordinance to reverse the Supreme Court judgment mandating the immediate disqualification of lawmakers convicted for a criminal offence punishable with a jail term of more than two years.
The ordinance seeks to reverse the Supreme Court judgement that had not only disqualified lawmakers convicted of offences with two years or more in jail, but also barred from contesting elections. (ANI)