Sonia Gandhi, Rahul reassure Manmohan Singh after lawmakers' ordinance criticism

New Delhi/Washington, Sept.28 (ANI): Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi have reassured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the party's support for him and the government in the wake of Rahul Gandhi's criticism of a Union Cabinet ordinance that allows MPs and MLAs to attend Parliament and state assemblies despite having criminal cases against them.

Media reports said that Sonia called Dr. Singh in washington to reassure him of the Congress Party's support and to assuage any hurt that he may have felt in the wake Rahul terming the ordinance wrong and rubbish, and a document that should be torn up.

On his part, Rahul Gandhi e-mailed a letter to the Prime Minister in which he emphasized his respect for Dr. Singh and his leadership, but at the same time maintained that the ordinance was wrong in letter and spirit.

The Congress Party released the letter in the public domain, suggesting that it was in damage control mode to reduce the apparent humiliation caused to Prime Minister Singh by Rahul Gandhi's very public criticism of the government in full media glare in New Delhi on Friday.

Statements released on Dr. Singh's behalf from Washington indicate that the Congress Party's attempts at assuaging the Prime Minister are succeeding.

The Prime Minister has acknowledged receiving a letter from Rahul Gandhi and promised that his Cabinet will consider Gandhi's views on the ordinance when Dr. Singh returns home early next week.

What can't be, however, ignored is the alacrity with which Congress ministers, including many who didn't bat an eyelid in ratifying the ordinance in the Cabinet, and leaders, coming out in support of Rahul Gandhi's criticism of the government.

It was left to Sanjaya Baru, a former media advisor to the Prime Minister, to say that Rahul Gandhi's remarks smacked of insubordination and that Dr. Singh must quit.

The consensus in the Congress Party, however, is that Dr. Singh is unlikely to quit. Baru himself said that the Prime Minister has the ability to take knocks on his chin. (ANI)

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