PM heads for summit; to consider issues raised by Rahul on return

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 27, 2013 14:50 hrs

Washington, Sep 27 (IANS) As a political firestorm storm broke out back home, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday the issues raised by Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi about a controversial ordinance would be considered on his return to India.

Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's comments on the ordinance to protect convicted lawmakers hours before his summit meeting with President Barack Obama, Manmohan Singh made clear that the ordinance was cleared by the cabinet.

Gandhi too had written to him after making a statement on the issue, he said and "the issues raised will be considered on my return to India after due deliberations in the Cabinet."

Rahul Gandhi's comments earlier Friday in New Delhi that the ordinance was "wrong", should be "torn up and thrown away" and it was time to stop "this nonsense" was seen as a major embarrassment for the Prime Minister just as he was preparing to enter crucial talks with Obama.

Amid suggestions from the twitterati that he should quit and return home, there was initially silence from the Prime Minister's camp with sources suggesting that he would not make any comment about domestic issues on foreign soil.

But as the issue threatened to overshadow the summit aimed to "give added meaning and content" to India-US strategic partnership, including ways to counter terror, and iron out differences over trade and economic issues he chose to make a statement.

Manmohan Singh and Obama are set to sit down at President Barack Obama's White House mid morning (9 p.m. India time) for an hour long chat before the two delegations join them over a working lunch.

Immediately after the summit, the Prime Minister would leave for New York where he will address the UN general assembly Saturday and meet Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif as scheduled

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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