Ordinance to be called off, PM tells allies; legal advice sought

New Delhi, Oct 2: The UPA government bent before Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi by deciding to call off the ordinance aimed at protecting convicted politicians.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was abroad when Gandhi openly trashed the ordinance by calling it 'nonsense' in a press conference, reportedly told the allies of the Congress that the decision had been taken at the Congress core group meeting held on Wednesday morning soon after Gandhi met him.

The government was seeking legal advise on withdrawal of the ordinance, the latest reports said. Attorney General GE Vahanvati arrived at the prime minister's official residence on Wednesday afternoon.

Will the allies take the episode in a right spirit, that's the biggest question

It was said that Congress chief Sonia Gandhi backed Rahul Gandhi's stand on the ordinance at the meeting. Senior Congress leaders P Chidambaram and AK Antony skipped the meeting.

Meanwhile, National Conference chief Farooq Abdullah said he will meet the PM ahead of the Cabinet meeting on the ordinance scheduled on Wednesday evening. He said the Congress vice-president should have apprised the PM of his views before saying it openly.

He hoped that the UPA allies will work towards a better coordination in the future. The Nationalist Congress Party, another UPA ally, had also expressed its dissatisfaction with Gandhi's handling of the issue. The Samajwadi Party also expressed its reservation against cancelling the ordinance.

Prime Minister Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee after the Congress core group meeting ended to brief him about the party's decision on the controversial ordinance.

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