Was too aggressive, says Rahul Gandhi on tearing ordinance on corrupt netas

Updated on May 10, 2019 03:18 PM IST

Rahul Gandhi’s dramatic and open condemnation of the ordinance – he called it a “complete nonsense” - sealed its fate.

The ordinance, aimed at bypassing the Supreme Court order that banned convicted netas, was withdrawn by the Cabinet.(HT Photo)
The ordinance, aimed at bypassing the Supreme Court order that banned convicted netas, was withdrawn by the Cabinet.(HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, Bhatinda | BySunetra Choudhury

It has been more than five years since the September 2013 afternoon when Rahul Gandhi, then a party vice president, ripped up the ordinance cleared by the Manmohan Singh cabinet to save convicted lawmakers.

Rahul Gandhi’s dramatic and open condemnation of the ordinance – he called it a “complete nonsense” - sealed its fate. The ordinance, aimed at bypassing the Supreme Court order that banned convicted netas, was withdrawn by the Cabinet.

But his condemnation was seen as an affront to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and as their critics put it, a reflection of Rahul Gandhi’s attitude towards the office of the prime minister that he had undermined.

Speaking for the very first time about the mistakes that he had made, Rahul Gandhi told HT that he did, like everyone else, have a list of mistakes that he had made. “Everyone makes mistakes, I’m only human,” he said to a question about his set of mistakes and if he counted tearing up the ordinance as one.

“That was an expression I had. Maybe it was expressed in a way that was too aggressive. But see, I would never learn without regret. I could never love people without having hate thrown on me. I wouldn’t know what it means. So yes, of course every human being has regrets. I’m sure you do too,” Gandhi said on the episode that is frequently cited by his detractors to attack him.

Like when Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj wanted to counter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for accusing PM Narendra Modi of “arrogance”, she pointed to the Congress leader that it was her brother Rahul who had insulted then PM Manmohan Singh and tore the ordinance.

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