In what can be termed as a major setback to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, the Union Cabinet on Sunday rejected the ordinance route for anti-graft bills pushed by the Gandhi scion, while clearing an ordinance to amend the Prevention of atrocities against SC/ST act.
The Cabinet has meanwhile cleared Central reservation for the Jat community. With this the community now gets reservation in government jobs and educational institutions.
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Approving changes to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, the Cabinet directed the Planning Commission to grant special category status for five years to the successor state of Andhra Pradesh comprising 13 districts.
While discussing the issue of these ordinances, the Union Cabinet felt that “full deliberations” are required in Parliament keeping with the “highest traditions of democratic principles”, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters.
This was the second time in three days that the Cabinet decided against using the ordinance route on certain measures, which were being pushed by Rahul Gandhi as part of a “framework” to fight corruption.
The decision is believed to have been influenced by the apprehension that President Pranab Mukherjee would not give assent to these ordinances. Senior ministers like Law Minister Kapil Sibal and Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde met the President at least twice since Saturday, apparently to gauge his mood but evidently did not get any positive signal.
Sources said the Congress Core Group, headed by Sonia Gandhi, had yesterday given its assent to using the ordinance route to measures like Prevention of Corruption Act, Citizens’ Right to Time-bound Delivery of Services and Citizens Charter Bill, SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill and Rights of Persons with Disability Bill.
(With PTI inputs)