In a dramatic development, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi today strongly criticised the government's decision to pass an ordinance to allow convicted politicians to contest elections and said it should be "torn up".
"I tell you what my opinion on the ordinance is: That it is complete nonsense. It should be torn up and thrown away. That's my opinion," Rahul Gandhi
"The arguments that are being made in my organisation is that we need to do this because of political considerations. Everybody does this," he said.
Gandhi, incidentally, gatecrashed a press conference that was being held by Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken at the Delhi Press Club in which he was defending the ordinance to the press.
The Congress Vice President said that the Congress, BJP, Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party are all party to giving into such political compulsions and it is now time to end it.
"There is a time to stop this nonsense," he said.
"I really feel it is time parties stop making such compromises," Gandhi said, adding that all the parties needed to come together to work to fight corruption.
"All parties need to stop making these small compromises," he said.
The Congress leader, who is leading the party's campaign for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, said that he believed what the government was doing was wrong.
"I am not interested in what any opposition leader says. I think what the government is doing with this is completely wrong," Gandhi said.
Despite it being a meet-the-press event, Gandhi refused to take any questions.
"I am not going to get drawn into a long drawn press conference. I will take some questions and then go back to...work. Ok?" he said at the beginning of the press conference.
The Congress Vice President's comments come on the day the President had called Congress leaders to seek clarifications on the ordinance which seeks to nullify the Supreme Court's verdict that bars convicted politicians from contesting elections.
The BJP and the AAP have also met the President in order to convey their opposition to the ordinance and seeking that it not be approved.
Following the Congress Vice President's dramatic speech, Maken continued to take questions from the media and said that the Congress' view was the same as Rahul Gandhi's.
"Like I said before, the situation is evolving," Maken said.
"Rahul Gandhi had always maintained that convicted legislators should not be allowed," he said.
However, he offered no response as to why he air his personal opposition to the ordinance at a press conference and didn't oppose it earlier when the government passed the ordinance.
Updated Date: Sep 27, 2013 15:38:58 IST