The interesting part is that while the Congress was at the dictating end in the first instance, it was at the receiving end at the second one. It's 1-1 for the grand-old party in South India.
But the Congress's mixed feeling is not the real concern. What matters is that these two issues have set up dangerous precedents for the future and the Indian State will have to give a lot of explanation to history over these two big messes.
The Congress got back in Tamil Nadu what it gave to Andhra, sentimental blows
The Rajiv Gandhi killers case, for example, has displayed a pathetic standard of our politics. The AIADMK has definitely played a politics ahead of the elections by deciding to free the killers but Rahul Gandhi's question on what the common people will expect after such a decision is a sham. Some opposition party has taken advantage of the non-action of the Centre over decades and now the son of the assassinated former prime minister is worried over what the common man will think. Why not clear the air on what you yourself think about this tragedy, Mr Rahul Gandhi instead of making a populist remark? Afterall, Rajiv Gandhi was your father and your party should have taken a decisive step on this issue while in power for many years since 1991 when he was killed.
It is a shattering experience to see how law has been made secondary to politics in this country. People like Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru are hanged to corner the Hindu nationalists but execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana and the killers of Rajiv Gandhi always remained a difficult decision to make for they involve vote politics.
It is a dangerous thing that the killers of a former prime minister would walk on the streets but someone somewhere was bound to capitalise on the opportunity which was created by successive central governments.
The Centre had compromised with the idea of justice all these years by not taking a strong call on the convicts and now an ambitious and ruthless regional satrap, who doesn't care for shifting stands for her own political goals, is using the opportunity to make a mark in the national politics after the elections due in some time.
The Congress-led Centre is now running helter-skelter to stop Jayalalithaa from releasing the culprits. It is questioning her risk-frought populism. But didn't the Congress also indulge in equally risky ventures by hanging Afzal Guru (read implications in Jammu and Kashmir politics) and dividing Andhra Pradesh?
In politics, boomerang is a popular term.