Former Union Minister S M Krishna, who helmed the External Ministry during UPA-II, said he resigned from the post because of the “extra-constitutional authority” allegedly wielded by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.
Talking about his tenure, SM Krishna claimed Manmohan Singh had no say over the portfolio despite being the prime minister. “Rahul Gandhi was then a nobody, not even a general secretary. He issued a diktat that those who turned 80 can’t be min. When I heard that, I submitted my resignation and came to Bangalore,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
S M Krishna was the External Affairs Minister in the Manmohan Singh government between 2009 to 2012. He resigned as a member of the Congress in January 2017 and joined the BJP in March that year.
Adding that the present Congress chief was “not answerable to anyone – neither Parliament nor governance,” the former union minister recapped the famous incident when Gandhi called the Ordinance that would protect the convicted MPs and MLAs as “complete nonsense.”
The Manmohan Singh-led government had cleared the Ordinance, which sought to negate the Supreme Court judgment that pronounced that sitting MPs and MLAs either jailed on charges or after conviction, would have to resign their seats forthwith. “My opinion on the ordinance is that it is complete nonsense. I think it should be torn up and thrown out. That is my opinion,” Gandhi had told reporters in 2013.
Terming Gandhi’s decisions as “extra-constitutional”, Krishna said: “There were matters that were never brought to notice of even the minister. Cabinet was in discussion over passing an ordinance. But Rahul Gandhi, who was somewhere, tore a copy of the ordinance. He took decisions on which ordinance was necessary and struck down others.”
Meanwhile, the Congress termed the former external minister’s remarks as “disgusting.” “Today when I hear his statements, even that one per cent of respect I had for him is gone. For a person of his stature to speak like this, is absolutely disgusting. I don’t know what is making him speak like this.” Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao told ANI.
Adding that the comments are a “damage to his legacy,” Rao said, “People even in their old age don’t seem to have enough, want for more recognition, drives them to say such things. No damage to our party, it only damages his legacy. No BJP person is going to remember SM Krishna, it will only be Congress who will talk about him.”