I wrote about Rahul Gandhi, as a Game Changer in August, 2011, when he spoke in the parliament on the Lokpal Bill, in the aftermath of Anna Hazare’s agitation. Ever since, the stature of Rahul Gandhi both in the Congress Party and national politics has gone up and strong over the years. He is one of the rising stars on the national firmament.
Now again Rahul is in the news on account of yet another stroke of his with regard to the controversial ordinance designed to protect convicted lawmakers from disqualification. The ordinance approved by the Government of PM Manmohan Singh is awaiting signature of President Pranab Mukherjee. The main opposition BJP is against the ordinance and has petitioned the President not to sign it. In a dramatic move on September 27, Rahul Gandhi openly came out against the ordinance and said “My opinion of the ordinance is that it is complete nonsense and should be torn up and thrown away.” It is a strong statement amounting to an indictment of the Government led by his own party. It is all the more intriguing that both PM Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi are out of the country. Rahul Gandhi not only negated the ordinance but also added that it was high time that political parties stopped taking decisions based on political considerations. Rahul Gandhi’s outburst has created problems for PM Manmohan Singh’s Government on one side and on the other some new thinking on the functioning of the parliamentary democracy. Rahul Gandhi tends to become assertive as a Game Changer. But only time will tell where it would lead the country and its polity.
Post script: The controversial ordinance overturns a Supreme Court ruling stipulating disqualification of convicted law makers. I recently read a well researched book ‘Making of the Constitution – Myth and Reality’. The book contains a speech made in the Rajya Sabha by the father of the Indian constitution Dr. B.R. Ambedkar on the frequent amendments to the law and the constitution in the wake of adverse or unpleasant judgments by the courts. Dr. Ambedkar was not supportive of such tendencies. He was of the view that such judgments shall not be taken as an affront to the Government. The relevance of Dr. Ambedkar remains. May be Rahul Gandhi and his young associates have revisited Dr. Ambedkar.