Cong, govt have differed earlier too

Although the Congress asked why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh should resign after party vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s strong comment on the controversial ordinance shielding convicted legislators, this is not the first issue on which the party and the government seem to strongly differ.
The Congress had earlier distanced itself from the Indo-Pak joint statement signed at Sharm el-Sheikh. It had refused to endorse the joint statement delinking the composite dialogue process from terrorism and the mention of Balochistan in it.
The second incident was on the RTI Amendment Bill which seeks to keep political parties out of the ambit of the transparency law. The bill was sent to the parliamentary standing committee for greater scrutiny.
Mr Gandhi was said to be against the passage of the bill as people would not like political parties to be excluded from the RTI Act.
Congress managers are finding it difficult to explain convincingly as to why the Centre brought the ordinance against the disqualification of convicted legislators without the party’s consent.
A Congress general secretary said, “The decision (about it) was taken in the core committee meeting but Rahul Gandhi is not its member.”
The question that remained unanswered during the day was as to why Mr Gandhi did not raise the issue before party chief and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi before coming out openly against it. And whose brain was behind the ordinance. The government could have withdrawn the ordinance if this was “properly conveyed” but then why the public snubbing, insiders asked. A section of the Congress believes that Mr Gandhi’s aggressive stance against the ordinance would deflate the BJP’s campaign. In fact, it has saved the Congress from embarrassment.
A Congress official asked “Why the media is objecting to what Rahul has said. Earlier, you used to ask why is he silent and today you ask why he is speaking like this.” Although senior Cabinet ministers from the Congress and allies are maintaining silence on the ordinance so far, second-rung ministers are backing Mr Gandhi’s line.
Meanwhile responding to questions after Mr Gandhi’s sharp comment, Congress general secretary and the AICC’s communication department chairman Ajay Maken said “Rahul ji’s opinion is the opinion and the line of Congress... Now Congress party is opposed to this ordinance. The views of Congress party should always be supreme.”

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