Rahul Gandhi wrote to PM Manmohan on ordinance issue, didn't wait for reply
Hours after President Pranab Mukherjee summoned some union ministers and expressed his reservations on the controversial ordinance concerning convicted MPs and MLAs on Thursday evening, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi sent a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Washington. But, without waiting for a reply, he chose to attack the government publicly on Friday.
Congress sources said that in his first letter to the Prime Minister, Rahul expressed his strong views against "criminalisation" of politics and requested him to "reconsider" the cabinet's decision to clear the ordinance to negate the Supreme Court's ruling on immediate disqualification of convicted MPs and MLAs.
Rahul sent the letter hours after the President summoned union ministers Sushil Kumar Shinde, Kamal Nath and Kapil Sibal and asked them what the government would do if the Supreme Court struck down the ordinance. The ministers returned to confabulate with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Although Rahul was not a part of these deliberations, he chose to write to Singh to apprise him of his views. As the Prime Minister indicated in his statement after Rahul's public outburst against the ordinance, he (PM) was planning to discuss the issues raised by Rahul after his return to India "after due cabinet deliberations".
But, the Congress vice-president was not prepared to wait for the PM's reply, as he pre-empted it by barging into Ajay Maken's press conference and declaring the ordinance as "complete nonsense", saying it should be torn and thrown out.
Congress sources said party president Sonia Gandhi was not kept "in the loop" about Rahul's plans. Shortly after he attacked the government, she called up the Prime Minister and sought to explain to him that Rahul's statement was not meant to undermine him. Sources said it was at her behest that Rahul sent another letter to Singh, in which he stated that he has "the highest respect" for him (PM) and he should understand "the strength of my own conviction" on the issue.