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HindustanTimes Mon,21 Apr 2014

Congress minister Deora opposes ordinance on convicted MPs

PTI  Mumbai, September 26, 2013
First Published: 20:21 IST(26/9/2013) | Last Updated: 21:10 IST(26/9/2013)

Union minister of state for communication and IT Milind Deora on Thursday joined the Opposition chorus against the ordinance that protects convicted MPs and MLAs from disqualification, saying such a move can erode people's faith in democracy.

"Legalities aside allowing convicted MPs/MLAs to retain seats in the midst of an appeal can endanger already eroding public faith in democracy," Deora tweeted.

The remarks by Deora, considered close to Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, come on a day when a BJP delegation comprising LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, Leaders of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha respectively, met President Pranab Mukherjee and requested him not to sign the ordinance. The ordinance was sent for presidential ratification on Wednesday.

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh had said yesterday, "...it would have been better if a consensus was arrived at. Maybe the government had its compulsion."  The ordinance overturns a Supreme Court order disqualifying lawmakers immediately after conviction. It allows MPs or MLAs convicted in a corruption case or sentenced to two years in jail to stay on without a salary or voting rights if they appeal to a higher court.

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