Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to meet President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday before the cabinet meets to reconsider its controversial decision on bringing an ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers from immediate disqualification.
The cabinet meeting has been convened on Wednesday evening, hours before the President leaves for a seven-day tour of Belgium and Turkey, early on Thursday.
Singh will return from his US visit on Tuesday evening, which was overshadowed by the remarks of Congress vice–president Rahul Gandhi that the ordinance was a “complete nonsense” which should be “torn-up and thrown away.”
Gandhi’s comments on Friday came a day after the President had summoned three senior ministers to explain the reasons behind the ordinance move.
The government’s problem was compounded by an aggressive BJP, which came out strongly against the ordinance. Similar stand was taken by civil society activists also.
The President is learnt to have consulted legal experts over the weekend.
The experts advised him to desist from giving his assent to the ordinance, since the government had failed to explain the urgency behind its move to bypass Parliament.
There is also a strong view that the ordinance may not stand scrutiny in a court of law since it is not based on sound legal basis nor does it answer the objections raised by the Supreme Court about the provisions of the Representation of the People Act dealing with continuation of convicted MPs/MLAs in case they file an appeal in a higher court.