Ordinance withdrawn; the great Congress game’s over

The great act that Congress put together with Rahul as hero, PM as villain and a bunch of extras is finally over. Now is the time to see how allies react to it.

The union cabinet Wednesday decided to withdraw the controversial ordinance and the bill to protect convicted lawmakers.

The cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, took the decision to withdraw the ordinance in a 20 minute sitting.

“The union cabinet met today and it was unanimously decided that both the ordinance, with regard to certain sections of the Representation of Peoples Act, as well as the bill would be withdrawn,” Union Minister Manish Tewari told reporters after the meeting.

Meanwhile, the BJP sought to take credit for the government’s decision to withdraw the ordinance on convicted netas.“We are happy and proud that the opposition (BJP) has ensured that the flag of the democracy flies high,” Ravi Shankar Prasad of the BJP said.

Prasad also hit out at the Congress saying in the union government, only the dynasty is important and not the cabinet or the PM. “This was the theater of the absurd. Suddenly we’ve seen a change… it has nothing to do with morality, legality, validity or constitutionality…. it’s a sheer power of dynasty before which the PM and the cabinet have meekly submitted.”

The high drama that was spread in two weeks came to an end with this.

On September 27, Rahul Gandhi In his rugged avatar as an angry young man, had showed his wish in front of the media regarding the ordinance negating Supreme Court’s judgement on immediate disqualification of lawmakers, in case of conviction, from contesting elections. “In my personal opinion, the ordinance should be torn and thrown away. It is an utter nonsense,” he had said.

Distancing himself from the government he said that he was not a part of the government and that the government was surely wrong in clearing the ordinance. He marked his differences with the government by saying that the explanation given by the government is weak. “They say that we have to do it because of political considerations. Everybody does this. We need to stop making these small compromises,” he said.

What looked like an innocent act by Rahul Gandhi showing his fallout from his own party’s government was considered to be a bigger ploy by UPA. The position of the Prime Minister was seen diminished big time.

The opposition BJP had defended prime minister at the time calling Rahul’s act dastardly. It had also demanded resignation of the PM saying he should immediately resign if he has any dignity left.

However, it was also speculated that President Pranab Mukherjee actually saved Congress from what could have been a biggest blunder committed by it. Mukherjee leaves for his visit to Turkey on Wednesday. It was expected that PM will meet him before his departure.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh returned from his foreign trip last night and today he went to pay homage to father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, at Rajghat. Although, party president Sonia Gandhi was present there, party vice-president and possible prime ministerial candidate from the party, Rahul Gandhi, was missing from the scene.

He met Mukherjee in the noon and it was clear that the bill will be withdrawn.

Although Singh made his point clear when he breifed the media on board Air India One yesterday, it is Rahul Gandhi who had the last laugh. The damage control that Congress was forced to do, or had in mind to do under a bigger plan, surely exposed both the leaders.

The great act that Congress put together with Rahul as hero, PM as villain and a bunch of extras is finally over. Now is the time to see how allies react to it.


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