Rahul Gandhi's 'anti-party' stand on the ordinance to save convicted lawmakers from disqualification has reportedly caused an uproar within his party and is the main talking point in pages across the country today.
Here's a look at what some of the country's leading journalists had to say on his position.Shekhar Gupta in his Indian Express column, National Interest: His Moral Highness, writes:
"And what about Rahul Gandhi? The best thing is that he has finally spoken out, taken a stand on something. So far, he has promised to be tribal ka sipahi on one day, and kisan's or commuter's or migratory labourer's or Dalits' on other days at random, leading to unkind comments like, if he is indeed a soldier, he must be a soldier of the parachute regiment.
He is also right in principle on this one. The way this law was being pushed through the ordinance route was immoral, unconstitutional and unsustainable. So it was necessary to cut your losses. But was this the right way of doing so?
This bill — even ordinance — has been under discussion at several cabinet and party and multi-party forums, and in Parliament, for quite some time now. Rahul had every opportunity through these months to intervene forcefully. It is difficult to imagine how his "dissent" would not have prevailed. But even if he was resisted, or vetoed, he had every right to go out and upbraid "my government" in public. But the time to do that was not now.
Not when the cabinet has cleared the ordinance, senior ministers and your personal loyalists are defending it in public and, most importantly, when the prime minister is overseas and set for two key mini-summits. And politically, to do this 48 hours before Narendra Modi's public meeting in Delhi? Was it meant to be some kind of belated birthday gift to your rival?
The die is now cast. And for once, Rahul has chosen to do so. So it is, in a manner of speaking, progress. He should now follow this by taking over responsibility. He should either move into the prime minister's chair for the remaining months of this term, or get this government dissolved and advance general elections to November, along with the five state assemblies. A leader at his level cannot do a hit-and-run.
And in any case, the rules of engagement have now been redefined. If his coalition were to win, and another lesser mortal appointed prime minister, he and the rest of us citizens will also have to be mindful of the precedent already set: that he and his cabinet could be similarly flogged in public by a higher power within the party, the Constitution notwithstanding. India cannot survive another term under a Prime Minister Lite.
So it is imperative that Rahul now unequivocally declare himself as the party's candidate for prime minister in the next election, and give the voters a clear choice. Or, who knows, this will end up as another likely Congress story, with one side expressing qualified regrets and the other, unqualified gratitude, so status quo prevails, even if the status of each is greatly diminished."Image: Vice President of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi speaks during a program at the Press Club in New Delhi on September 27, 2013. (AFP)(Continued...) Text: AgenciesImage: AFP