Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s tirade against the ordinance shielding convicted MPs and MLAs terming it complete nonsense and apt for tearing up has not only dented the credibility and dignity of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but also undermined the gravity of the Gandhi family. Rahul Gandhi’s such scathing attack is unexpected in all senses. The Congress vice-president incidentally gatecrashed a press conference being held by party’s media cell head Ajay Maken and overtly launched blitzkrieg against the viewpoints of his own government. All this happened at a time when the Prime Minister is on sojourn abroad. Though, it’s not the first time that the UPA government has made a blooper by bringing an ordinance to protect tainted leaders negating the order of the Supreme Court and interests of common people, neither could it be said that this is the first-time mistake on the part of the Prime Minister. However, such sort of insult to the PM having humble and sober persona manifests Rahul’s feudalistic mindset. Rahul is again in the fireline of Opposition as they are baying for his resignation owing to unleashing such derision on the Prime Minister.

Going by the political journey of Rahul Gandhi, he seems to be plugging the loopholes in system without being part of the government. He appears crestfallen to see the plight of the poor and poverty seems to have taken center-stage of his politics.  However he is having high words for interests of the poor, but fact remains that mere paying lip-services would not uplift their position. Even if the Congress gives credit Rahul Gandhi for some schemes being carried out for the welfare of poor people, but the matter of fact is all such types of programmes are eating into the vitals of the economy. Rahul Gandhi seems oblivious to the country’s gloomy economic situation. The viewpoints of Rahul and Congress president Sonia Gandhi vividly reflect that both of them want to eradicate poverty by doling out public money. That’s why none of them made any comment on the economic condition of the country after passing of Food Security Bill despite fiscal crisis. Both of them passed the buck to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram.

There was no need to bring ordinance to protect convicted MPs and MLAs. It seems that the Ordinance aimed at giving relief to several leaders including Lalu Yadav in fodder scam case. Since Rahul Gandhi has been keeping himself away from coalition politics so far, he does not understand its complexities. Either Sonia Gandhi or her advisor is facing pressure of coalition politics. Rahul’s remarks over ordinance have put Sonia Gandhi and Ahmed Patel in awkward position. There’s no harm in Rahul Gandhi widening the Congress vote base but at the same time he should keep in mind functioning of government and dignity of the PM post. It’s worth mentioning that Manmohan Singh himself invited Rahul to join the government. May be the Prime Minister wants to make Rahul aware that making claims and working as ministers are poles apart. It’s ridiculous that several Union Ministers were quick to support Rahul over ordinance issue. All this happened as Rahul belongs to Nehru-Gandhi clan.

Undoubtedly, everyone has right to present his views in democratic set-up, but had Rahul been mere a party vice-president he would not have derided the Prime Minister publicly, dubbing the ordinance complete nonsense that was passed by the Cabinet. Earlier some of the Congress leaders also opposed the ordinance but in polite manner. Given the influence of Gandhi family in the Congress, the Prime Minister said that after his return to India, he would take a call on Rahul Gandhi’s suggestions regarding the ordinance. The pertinent question arises, is it a good sign for democracy that a particular person weighs heavily against the government? Now, when all the Congress leaders including Union Ministers are supporting Rahul Gandhi, the hub of the matter is why they remained silent when the government introduced an amendment to the Representation of the People Act in the Parliament and decided to bring an ordinance?

Rahul Gandhi has been claiming that he does not yearn for power. People should keep faith in his claim but he must make it clear that why he fails to stop the wrong decisions of UPA government on time? Manmohan Singh in capacity of Prime Minister has his own limitations but it doesn’t mean that such situations should be created to weaken his position in the Union Cabinet. Political corridor has been abuzz with dual power centers during the UPA I-II. It’s being assumed that dual power centers are the reason behind indecisiveness in the UPA government. Certainly, it costs dearly the nation. This is probably the reason that the Congress is losing its clout. Manmohan Singh is fully aware of the fact that he became the Prime Minister because of Gandhi family’s blessings and now entire Congress wants to see Rahul Gandhi at the helm of affairs. But Congress vice-president gave no indication of heading the government. He must clear the air why he is not ready to either join the government or head it? If Rahul doesn’t do so, he has no right to instill inferiority complex in the Prime Minister. Once his father, Rajiv Gandhi also had shown similar frown and termed the Planning Commission as jokers’ group when Manmohan Singh was its deputy chairman. Rajiv Gandhi, then Prime Minister, had become so angry with his foreign secretary that he was about to announce high profile officer’s dismissal in a press conference. Hurt over it, the foreign secretary tendered his resignation on the same day. Rahul must keep in mind that if the Prime Minister and the PMO are forced to work as per the wishes of Gandhi family, the move will going to benefit neither  the government nor the Congress. If Rahul is peeved with the ordinance, it will be better for him to join the government to understand the complexities of its functioning as Congress vice-president’s approach undermined the authority of PM as well as Law Minister.

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on September 29, 2013 translated by the English editorial. The author is the Group Editor of Dainik Jagran)