Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said that if he were in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s shoes, he would have resigned rather than face humiliation over the controversial ordinance issue.
Mr. Badal said that Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s remarks against the ordinance — aimed, in his opinion, at reversing a Supreme Court ruling on convicted lawmakers — amounted to exhibition of “no confidence” against the Prime Minister and his Cabinet.
In an official release, Mr. Badal said that if any of his party office-bearers had belittled him over a decision that had received the entire Cabinet’s endorsement, he would have preferred to step down.
Mr. Badal termed the “blatant insult” of the office of the Prime Minister very unfortunate.
Expressing his concern over the “erosion of [the] authority” of the Cabinet, Mr. Badal said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her son could not feign ignorance now as they had been privy to the ordinance’s passage in the Cabinet twice. Mr. Badal said Mr. Gandhi’s managers had resorted to cheap tactics to enhance his image at the cost of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.
The veteran Akali leader said the country needed a decisive and strong Prime Minister, especially when the present UPA government had failed to perform its duty in safeguarding the life and property of the citizens, which was evident after the recent twin attacks on the police and the Army in the Jammu region.
Mr. Badal maintained that every State had a statutory obligation to remain secular and rise about vested political interests that might perpetuate targeting of innocent Muslims.