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Cong backs Rahul over ordinance on convicted leaders: Sachin Pilot


Karan Thapar,CNN-IBN
Oct 06, 2013 at 08:36am IST

New Delhi: The Congress party has come out strongly in defence of its Vice President Rahul Gandhi over his outburst against the controversial ordinance on convicted politicians. Minister for Corporate affairs, Sachin Pilot said that Rahul will lead the party to a thumping victory in the 2014 general elections.

In an interview with Karan Thapar on Devils Advocate, Pilot said that the Congress party stood firmly behind Rahul's decision. He also denied the allegations of his outburst being an embarrassment for the Cabinet and the party.

Pilot said that Rahul's outburst against the ordinance showed that the party has listened to what the people want to do. "A political party is made of people and if people have voiced their thoughts to Mr Gandhi and he as the Vice President has vocalised the thoughts and done the right thing, that's what people will remember us for." He said.

He credited Rahul for taking a stand on the controversy and said that owing to his outburst, the decision to withdraw the ordinance could be taken on time. "I think the best thing that has come out of this controversy is that we have been able to stop the thing at the right time," he said.

Extending his support to the Congress Vice President, Pilot said that Rahul's opposition over the ordinance is supported by the Cabinet as well as by the Congress party. "It was a thought he felt he must aired and he has done that and by the way he has already clarified that perhaps the choice of words and the timing may be in question but the intent and the sentiment and the objective of what he wanted to do was right. He stands by it, I stand by it, the country stands by it," he said.

Rahul has been caught in the controversy for airing his views at a time when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on his trip to the US which led to an embarrassment for him.

However, Pilot said that Rahul's decision despite being aware of the consequences showed his courage and conviction. "The fact that he is risking doing all that he is doing and still do it does not that take some courage and conviction. If you know you are going to do the following things which is like what you said, embarrass the government, demeaning the PM's position etc, knowing that might happen, still to do it and to take it head on," he said.

"To make an omelette, you have to break an egg. Mr Gandhi has done it and I think I am glad he did the right thing at the right time. The government and the party fully supports it," he added.

Here is an excerpt of the interview:

Karan Thapar: Rahul Gandhi has ended up raising damaging questions about himself. Today people question his judgment, today as a result people say is he fit to be prime minister of India.

Sachin Pilot: I think the best thing that has come out of this controversy is that we have been able to stop the thing at the right time. We've listened to what the people want to do. And a political party is made of people and if people have voiced their thoughts to Mr Gandhi and he as the vice president has vocalised the thoughts and done the right thing, that is what people will remember us for.

Karan Thapar: You know what people say, Rahul Gandhi has behaved immaturely, and that's the last quality the prime minister of India needs particularly when India is going through what looks to many people as a crisis. He's damned himself by displaying immaturity.

Sachin Pilot: That's your judgment. In my view what Mr Gandhi has done is being supported now by the cabinet by the congress party. It was a thought he felt he must air and he's done that and by the way he has already clarified that perhaps the choice of words and the timing may be in question but the intent and the sentiment and the objective of what he wanted to do was right. He stands by it, i stand by it, the country stands by it.

Karan Thapar: You know in politics choice of words is often critical, in politics timing is often paramount. I put it to you and you know because you are an astute politician that as important in politics as doing the right thing is doing it the right way. Rahul Gandhi may have ended up doing the right thing. But he's done it in the worst possible way and in the process he's embarrassed the government and the mother. He embarrassed the prime minister. He's raised damaging questions about himself.

Sachin Pilot: Look at it this from this point of view. Given what you are saying is true. The fact that he is risking doing all that he is doing and still do it does not that take some courage and conviction. If you know you are going to do the following things which is like what you said, embarrass the government, demeaning the PM's position etc, knowing that might happen, still to do it and to take it head on. Karan to make an omelette you have break an egg. Mr Gandhi has done it and i think I am glad he did the right thing at the right time. The government and the party fully supports it

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