Hopes Manmohan Singh will take appropriate decision
Union Shipping Minister G.K. Vasan on Saturday came out in support of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who had described “as complete nonsense” and something to be “torn up and thrown away” the ordinance proposed by the UPA government aimed at preventing the disqualification of convicted lawmakers.
“He has expressed his opinion on a very important subject. In articulating his view, he has echoed the voice of the Congress party and the people of the country,” Mr Vasan told reporters at Sathyamurthy Bhavan.
He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is away in the US, had clarified his position and hoped that he would take an appropriate decision.
Asked how he, a Union minister, could support Rahul Gandhi’s view which was not in consonance with the Cabinet’s decision, all Mr Vasan would say was Mr Gandhi had expressed the people’s sentiments
To a question whether the Cabinet decision not for the good of the nation and whether Mr Gandhi’s remarks amounted to humiliating the Prime Minister, Mr Vasan said the Prime Minister himself had commented on the issue and he would not like to go beyond it.
On BJP president Rajnath Singh’s criticism that the Congress vice-president’s remark was a sad commentary on the UPA, Mr Vasan said the opposition was not able to digest Mr. Gandhi’s view.
He refused to comment on DMK president M. Karunanidhi’s objection to the final draft of the JPC on the 2G spectrum scam, saying it was for the Congress spokesperson to say anything on the subject.
Mr Vasan, who met the fishermen released by the Sri Lankan government, said he would take steps to get their boats released.
“I will take up the issue with the External Affairs Minister after his return from the US,” he said.
Asked about a possible alliance for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Mr Vasan said the Assembly elections in five States were the current priority for the Congress leadership. It would indicate its stand on an alliance in Tamil Nadu in December.
He also disclosed that the Cabinet had agreed to include Narikuravars in the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST).
“We will organise a conference in a couple of months and invite the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs,” he said.