New Delhi, Oct 2: Former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi on Wednesday targetted the Gandhi family, and said that the UPA-led Central Government had no choice before them but to withdraw the ordinance on convicted lawmakers.
“Do you mean to say that there is no coordination between the mother and the son? Don’t they know what they are doing? We are being used by a dynasty, there is no doubt about it. The world’s largest democracy is being ruled by a family. Others are all courtiers,” Bedi alleged.
“UPA had no choice but to withdraw the ordinance because of the immense public outrage against it. They also didn’t have the President on their side. On the other hand, there was total public outrage on it. The UPA was losing ground (and) totally conceding to the Opposition. They did not have a choice,” she added.
Bedi also said, keeping an eye on the 2014 general elections, that the Centre was aware that there was enough public outrage against them on the proposal of this ordinance, and its withdrawal was done as damage control to recover some ground.
“They have tried to recover ground because they know people are not fools. We are not naive people. …I think they are taking a lot of us for granted. This has been one of the drama one could have seen,” she said.
After taking the legal viewpoint on the ordinance and the Bill into consideration, it has been decided that the process of withdrawing the Bill will be taken up during the Winter Session of Parliament.
According to television and other media reports, the Cabinet met for about 20-25 minutes this evening, and decided to send a formal letter to the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha soon with a request to withdraw the Bill.
The Cabinet meeting was held at the 7 Race Course Road official residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Prior to the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan here for almost an hour on Wednesday, and reportedly briefed him about the Congress Core Group’s latest decision on the controversial ordinance on convicted parliamentarians.
The Congress Core Group, it maybe recalled, decided to withdraw the ordinance. The meeting of the Congress Core Group was attended by the Prime Minister, party chief Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and others. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Defence Minister A.K. Antony were not present at the meeting.
The meeting of the Congress Core Group was significant in wake of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s very public and negative outburst against the ordinance.
Rahul Gandhi met the Prime Minister for about 25 minutes this morning. This was the Prime Minister’s first interaction with Rahul Gandhi after his return from U.S.
Dr. Manmohan Singh, who returned yesterday after his five-day visit to the United States, said there is no question of him resigning from office.
“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, the right course is to start with trying to understand what is agitating the minds 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 into confidence. We will see which way the wind blows,” Dr. Singh said onboard Air India One.
When specifically asked to respond to the opposition’s demand that he should have resigned from office immediately after Gandhi’s criticism of the ordinance while he was abroad, Dr. Singh said: “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. 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.
In a major embarrassment to the ruling UPA, Rahul Gandhi had earlier on September 27 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,” Rahul Gandhi had said in New Delhi. (ANI)