That the hurriedly brought in ordinance to save convicted legislators was withdrawn equally hurriedly points to the UPA government’s credibility deficit in fighting criminalisation of politics. The questions for which there are no convincing answers are: why did Rahul Gandhi keep silent till the ordinance was cleared by the Cabinet, and spoke up only after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left India; what caused his sudden awakening; and why did he not show the same zeal in passing the Lokpal Bill as demanded by people? Is not the withdrawal of the ordinance an admission of guilt by the UPA government?
Venkatesh N. Muttur, Hubli
Although the Cabinet’s decision to withdraw the controversial ordinance is welcome, it sets an unhealthy precedent as it is the result of not the public disapproval of the ordinance but the Congress vice-president’s remark that it was “nonsense.” It further reinforces the opinion that the Congress functions on dynastic affiliations rather than credibility.
Alankrita Amrit, New Delhi
People, I am sure, are relieved that Rahul Gandhi applied the brakes at the right time. Now that convicted politicians stand to be disqualified, we can expect them to be clean. But the smart and shrewd political class will still find ways to escape the dragnet of law by pressuring, influencing or bribing the investigating agencies and intimidating the victims.
M.Y. Shariff, Chennai
The ordinance saga was another UPA gimmick. Its rejection shows the government’s efforts to project Rahul Gandhi as a hero and strengthen his image. While the U-turn on the ordinance is welcome, it has also exposed the shallowness of Indian politics.
Himalay Sharma, New Delhi
The withdrawal of the ordinance is timely but it is also a blow to Dr. Singh, the Cabinet and the Congress Core Group which met not once but twice to approve the ordinance. Young Rahul’s sudden outburst and his behaviour remind us of Sanjay Gandhi’s style of politics.
S.M. Usman, Tiruchi
What if the conviction of a legislator is overturned at a higher court and he is acquitted honourably? With all his faults, Lalu Prasad was consistent in his opposition to communal politics, gave voice to the less privileged and made the Indian Railways a profitable proposition. A variant of fodder scam exists in all the States. All those pillorying Lalu are only exposing their hypocrisy. I feel MPs and MLAs should not be disqualified till they exhaust all appeals.
Baikadi Suryanarayana Rao, Bangalore
Keywords: ordinance on convicted lawmakers