The three-minute storm left the UPA in complete disarray. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi stormed the Press Club unannounced on Friday and spent 20 minutes there, but his three - minute address to journalists set off a political storm in the country.
The sudden outburst took everyone, including senior Congress leaders, by surprise. On Wednesday, Gandhi, 43, had refused to spell out his stand on the ordinance during his interaction with a group of editors in Pune.
Congress sources said this was the beginning of Gandhi's public assertion. In the past, it had been his quiet intervention that had prompted the government to modify some of its decisions.
The move to refer to the standing committee a bill that sought to amend the RTI act for keeping political parties out of it is one such instance.
His intervention saw the government expand the rural employment guarantee programme to the entire country from around 200 districts despite objections from the finance ministry.
In May 2009, Gandhi had taken everyone by surprise when he conceded that all political parties tend to misuse the CBI. "Every party in power can pressure institutions. Every government tries to push its people into such agencies. It is a fact, it is a reality of Indian politics," he had said.