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News Analysis
Rahulís outburst may alter Cong landscape
KV Prasad/TNS

New Delhi, September 27
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhiís brusque remark opposing the ordinance that offers protection to convicted lawmakers shook the party and the UPA, and forced an embarrassed establishment to turn the defence of the government move on its head.

Party functionaries and ministers, who till then were stoutly defending the ordinance that allows convicted MPs/MLAs to retain membership, were caught off-guard after the Congress vice-president impromptu chose to articulate his stance declaring the government committed a wrong.

What prompted Rahul to join issue three days after the Cabinet and six days after the strategic Congress core group attended by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister and a few key ministers gave the go-ahead? By choosing to rubbish the ordinance, did he not put a question mark on a collective decision of the Union Cabinet and the core group?

Does the timing not undermine the Prime Ministerís authority at a time when he is on an official overseas visit? Was Rahul under pressure to stand up in the face of aggressive campaign unleashed by Narendra Modi? or Is it a plan to create a distinct group of younger leaders who feel the old guard in the party is not in sync with young India?Rallying around Rahulís statement, Congress leaders now underscored it as a leaderís position on issues of public importance, something he has been accused of not taking in the past.

While Rahul sought to take a high moral ground on an issue that has been agitating the people and halt the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party from running away with the credit for stalling the ordinance, he in the process inflicted a deep wound on the decision making process in the government and its interface with the party.

Through the angry outburst, the Congress leader conveyed to the government that it erred in sensing the mood of the people by pushing for an ordinance that would have allowed MPs/MLAs convicted of serious offences and sentenced for two years to retain their membership by appealing to a higher court.

Taken by surprise

  • With his remark, Rahul inflicted a deep wound on the decision making process in the UPA government and its interface with the Congress
  • Party functionaries, who have so far been defending the ordinance, were caught off-guard by the remark
  • But they were quick to project it as a leaderís position on issues of public importance, something he has been accused of not taking in the past

PM should quit, says BJP

Arun JaitleyIf heads do not roll now, then this is just a charade intended to only establish that the govt makes mistakes, the rest of the world makes mistakes, but the First Family of the Cong doesnít make mistakes. 

ó Arun Jaitley
, BJP

I support Rahul: Nitish

Nitish KumarI support Rahul Gandhi as he has taken a right stand. There was no need to bring an ordinance from the backdoor to protect convicted lawmakers.

ó Nitish Kumar
, Bihar CM

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