The Congress is believed to have felt that it would be better for the government to withdraw the Ordinance in view of public sentiments against it
Congress top brass including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday grappled to work out a face saver in the wake of a huge political storm over Rahul Gandhi’s public outburst against the measure. Following the deliberations throughout the day, the union cabinet decided to withdraw the controversial Ordinance on convicted lawmakers.
This has sealed the fate of some of members of Parliament (MPs) and members of legislative assembly (MLAs) who would face immediate disqualification in case of conviction by a court of law.
The Ordinance provoked criticism from Opposition parties and the public as an attempt to override a Supreme Court decision that disqualifies MPs and state legislators from office if they are convicted in criminal cases.
The Congress has tried to justify the reversal of policy, with spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury saying, "It's collective wisdom. We got feedback from across the country."
Soon after the Core Group meeting, which was also attended by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Gandhi’s political aide Ahmed Patel, the Prime Minister met President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Earlier in the day, Rahul Gandhi met Prime Minister in the morning explained to Singh the context in which he denounced the Ordinance in a one-to-one meeting.
The Cabinet cleared the Ordinance after a 10th July Supreme Court order struck down a section in the Representation of the People Act which gave a three-month breather to lawmakers to approach a higher court for appeal after conviction and continue to hold the post.