New Delhi: Soon after Congress core group meeting ended, the party has decided to call a meeting of UPA’s coordination committee to discuss contentious Ordinance on convicted lawmakers.

# Union Cabinet to decide on Ordinance: Rahul

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has made it clear that it is the Union Cabinet which will decide whether to withdraw the contentious Ordinance on tainted lawmakers, currently pending with President Pranab Mukherjee.

BJP, Congress engage in slugfest over controversial Ordinance

“It is for Cabinet to decide what to do. I was expressing only public opinion,” he said after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at his official residence 7RCR.

According to the sources, the two met for around 30 minutes. The meeting came a day after Singh returned from his US visit and said he would try to find out the reason why Rahul made a public statement and ‘why it had to be done that way’.

Rahul had earlier this week said at a press conference that the Ordinance is ‘complete nonsense’ and should be ‘torn up and thrown away’. Making it clear that he was not undermining Singh's authority in any way, the Congress vice president had written a letter to the Prime Minister, saying that he has the ‘greatest admiration’ for his leadership in extremely difficult circumstances.

Many saw Rahul's outburst on the Ordinance as an embarrassment for the Prime Minister and the Opposition vociferously demanded that Singh, who was on a visit to the US at the time, should step down after his return. On his way back, Singh had ruled out his resignation.

# Farooq Abdullah criticizes Rahul Gandhi

Terming the entire episode on the Ordinance as ‘unfortunate’, another key UPA ally - National Conference (NC) – criticized Rahul Gandhi’s timing of opposing the government decision.

“Rahul has been ill-advised.  I think someone has advised him... He should have waited for PM’s return. I am worried about the way it has happened.  I hope that in future he would give better advises and would consult others, NC president Farooq Abdullah said.

# PM meets Pranab Mukherjee to explain govt's plan

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday met President Pranab Mukherjee ahead of the crucial Union Cabinet meeting when the controversial Ordinance on convicted lawmakers is expected to be withdrawn.

The Ordinance is currently before the President who is leaving on a foreign tour on October two. Mukherjee, who is believed to have reservations on it, had met senior ministers after a BJP delegation urged him not to give his assent.

# RJD upset over Ordinance withdrawal

Upset over Congress party’s decision to withdraw the controversial Ordinance, RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said, “Ordinance was not to protect convicted netas. It is very unfair to say RJD will be benefited from this Ordinance. All parties opposed the Supreme Court’s verdict. Ordinance reflected the mood of all parties.”

# We are allies not followers: NCP

Attacking the Congress party for changing its stance on the contentious Ordinance, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said that his party will put forward the opinion at the Cabinet meet and added ‘we are allies not followers’.

# Kamal Nath accuses BJP of doublespeak

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath has said that the BJP during the all-party meeting had supported the Ordinance that proposes to protect convicted lawmakers and has changed stand after Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi raised the issue. "In the business advisory committee meeting in the Rajya Sabha, BJP had unanimously agreed to the Ordinance. It is unfortunate that ever since Rahul Gandhi raised the matter, the BJP has taken a different stand,” Nath said.

# Ordinance unconstitutional: Sushma Swaraj

At a time when UPA government is under fire from all quarters, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday stepped up the attack on the ruling coalition saying the Ordinance on convicted lawmakers is ‘unconstitutional’. “The Ordinance to save convicted MPs is unconstitutional,” she said on twitter.

# Congress core group meeting ends

The Congress core group meeting at Prime Minister’s residence to discuss controversial Ordinance on convicted lawmakers ended. The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party chief Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and others. Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Defence Minister AK Antony were not present at the meeting. According to sources, the core group decided to withdraw the Ordinance.

# Prakash Karat meets Mulayam

CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat held a meeting with Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav and is understood to have discussed the evolving political situation in the wake of the controversy over the Ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers. CPI(M) sources said that the meeting was essentially to discuss the plans for holding a national convention in the defence of secularism. The convention is slated to be held on October 30 here.

# BJP terms possible withdrawal of Ordinance as people’s victory

Reacting on the much debated Ordinance, BJP vice-president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that if it’s withdrawn, it will be a great relief for the country. “If Ordinance to save criminals is taken back, Indian Constitution, Parliament and people will be victorious,” he said on twitter.

# No problem if Ordinance withdrawn: NCP

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), key ally of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre, has said that it has no objection if the contentious Ordinance protecting convicted lawmakers is withdrawn. The final decision will be taken at the Cabinet meet, said a NCP leader.

# SP favours Ordinance

Senior Samajwadi Party Naresh Agarwal has said that his party is in favour of Ordinance on convicted lawmakers. “Samajwadi Party is in favour of Ordinance,” said Agarwal adding that an accused can’t be deemed as convict until the Supreme Court holds him/her guilty.

# PM expresses unhappiness over Rahul’s remark

On Tuesday, Manmohan Singh had expressed his unhappiness with the timing of Rahul Gandhi's remark denouncing the Ordinance cleared by the Union Cabinet. “I have seen Mr Rahul Gandhi's statement. When issues are raised in democratic polity, right course is to discuss the issues,” Singh said.

“Mr Rahul Gandhi has asked me for a meeting. I will also take my cabinet colleagues in confidence. There is no question of resigning,” he added.

# Cabinet meet today

The Union Cabinet is meeting on Wednesday to take a call on withdrawal of the Ordinance, whose fate appears to have already been sealed after Rahul Gandhi's strong denunciation of the measure.

The Ordinance is currently before the President who is leaving on a foreign tour on October two. Mukherjee, who is believed to have reservations on it, had met senior ministers after a BJP delegation urged him not to give his assent.

To avoid this embarrassment, the Prime Minister is expected to explain government's plans to drop the measure, sources said.

# Ordinance is complete nonsense: Rahul

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has forced the Congress to have a relook at the Ordinance after he called it a "complete nonsense" and said that it should be "torn up and thrown away."

Singh will also brief the President about his talks with Barack Obama in Washington and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in New York.


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