New Delhi, March 24
The ordinance Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had casually trashed as “nonsense” 10 years ago could have come to his rescue today had he grasped the nuances of the consequences it entailed.
Consequences of his own actions
Today, Rahul Gandhi must be feeling hurt having himself called the ordinance nonsense. It looks like the Congress was worried that he will lose his membership one day. He stands trapped in the consequences of his own actions. Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister
The ordinance approved by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led UPA-II Cabinet on September 24, 2013, had been brought to nullify a July 2013 Supreme Court order that had struck down a provision in the Representation of People’s Act that allowed convicted lawmakers three months to appeal against convictions and, in the interregnum, saved them from disqualification.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, “Chronology samajhiye. On Feb 7, Rahul makes a speech on Adani scam in Parliament. Nine days later, the complainant in Rahul’s defamation case gets a stay on his own case vacated from the Gujarat HC. On Feb 27, hearing in the Surat case begins. On March 17, the judgment is reserved. On March 23, the judgment is pronounced.”
The SC had in the “Lily Thomas versus Union of India” case of 2013 struck down Section 8 (4) of the Representation of People’s Act that not only granted protection of three months from disqualification to MPs and MLAs, it also said that if the sitting convicted lawmaker was to file an appeal or revision within three months from the date of conviction, he can’t be disqualified till the disposal of the appeal or the revision.
The ordinance had been brought days before RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav was convicted in the fodder scam.
On September 27, 2013, Gandhi, then Congress vice-president, arrived unscheduled at a press conference, where his colleague Ajay Maken had just finished defending the ordinance, and declared to everyone’s shock, “What the Congress has done and what our government has done is wrong. People will give you political lines, but I will tell you what I personally feel about this ordinance. It is complete nonsense and should be torn apart and thrown away.”
It had caused a huge embarrassment to then PM Manmohan Singh, who was on an official visit to the US.
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