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'The issue should be discussed privately'

September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

Political circles in Delhi are still reeling from the aftershocks of Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's dismissive comments about the United Progressive Alliance government's ordinance on tainted lawmakers.

We bring you the various shades of political reactions...

After Rahul Gandhi's attack on the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today sought a meeting of UPA’s Coordination Committee to discuss the measure threadbare.

Omar, whose party National Conference is part of the UPA, said Gandhi's remarks were an internal matter of the Congress but a meeting of the UPA Coordination Committee should be called to take all constituents into confidence and set right the "misunderstandings" regarding the ordinance.

"I would want the (Union) Cabinet to discuss it (ordinance) after Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) returns," said the chief minister.

Omar said misunderstandings have been created publicly about the ordinance and sought to discuss the issue "privately in a closed room".

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'The ordinance is not proper'

September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

Strongly backing Gandhi's opinion on the controversial ordinance, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar appealed to Dr Singh to withdraw it at once.

"The ordinance is not proper. Rahul Gandhi has spoken the right thing," Kumar told reporters.

"If you stop an improper action at any stage, it does not lower your prestige, but enhances it," he said.

"As the ordinance is facing criticism across the country, the right step will be its withdrawal. There is still time left as the President has not given his approval to the ordinance," he said.

Asked if the ordinance was aimed at helping Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad, who is likely to be convicted in the fodder scam, Kumar said, "It is obvious."

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'It was an insult of the prime minister'

September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the honour of the prime minister's office has to be maintained at any cost.

"The comments made by Rahul Gandhi about the ordinance amounted to an insult of the prime minister and his council of ministers," Chouhan said in a statement.

"An ordinance can be good or bad, but those sitting on constitutional posts must always be honoured. The honour of the prime minister's post must be preserved at all cost," the chief minister added.

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'Politics should be a clean affair'

September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi  said the Congress did not have any guidelines to stop giving tickets to criminals and supported Gandhi's statement denouncing the ordinance.

Gogoi admitted that he had in the past allowed accused leaders to contest elections in the state as per "AICC principle" as his "word is not the final word".

"I whole-heartedly welcome Rahulji's statement. Politics should be a clean affair... I am dead against it (the ordinance)," Gogoi said at a press conference.

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'It's a healthy day for democracy'

September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

Union minister Milind Deora today termed Rahul Gandhi's criticism of the controversial ordinance as "healthy for democracy" and said there was nothing wrong in accepting and rectifying an error.

"It's a healthy day for democracy in Congress, it's a healthy day for democracy in UPA government and it's a healthy day for democracy in India," Deora, Union minister of state for communication and IT, told reporters.

"We are also humans. In life there is nothing wrong in accepting and trying to rectify perhaps what would be called an error. There is nothing wrong, nobody should have an ego, people should be humble enough to accept and rectify an error. That's the nature and strength of democracy," he said.

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'He wanted to show who the real boss is'

September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Venkaiah Naidu said the "real intention" of the Congress vice-president was to "show the prime minister who the real boss is".

"The Supreme Court gave a judgment on the convicted netas on July 10. Even the review petition filed by the UPA government was rejected on September 4. For two months and 25 days, neither Rahul Gandhi nor the Congress Party has said anything against this move of the government," Naidu noted.

"The belated blistering attack on the ordinance is a well orchestrated political stunt to salvage the image of the party," Naidu said.

"I don't think any PM has suffered such humiliation. After this action of the Congress leadership, which undermined the authority of the prime minister, nobody will take him seriously in the future," he said.

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'He created a scene to divert public attention'

September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

Due to a "conclusion" that President Pranab Mukherjee might not give his assent to the ordinance on convicted lawmakers, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appeared before the press "in a hurry" and created a scene to divert public attention, Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan has claimed.

The Samajwadi Party leader alleged, "Rahul's call to tear and throw away the ordinance indicates that he had drawn up a conclusion that President's node to the controversial ordinance might not be obtained."

"Hence he (Rahul) appeared before the press in a hurry and created a scene to divert public attention in his favour by calling the ordinance nonsense," said Khan.

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September 28, 2013 18:43 IST

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