India's ruling party in disarray as No. 2 Rahul Gandhi slams govt over criminal lawmakers
NEW DELHI (AFP) - Mr Rahul Gandhi, No. 2 in India's ruling Congress party, turned on the government on Friday, calling a recent move to prevent criminal lawmakers from being ejected from Parliament "complete nonsense".
The comments from Mr Gandhi, chief campaigner for the Congress as it fights for a third-consecutive term in national elections due next year, sparked speculation that it was a deliberate damage control plan after the party was portrayed as being weak on corruption.
The government moved an executive order earlier this week attempting to overturn a Supreme Court decision that national and state lawmakers should be disqualified if they are convicted in criminal cases carrying jail terms of more than two years.
"My opinion on the ordinance is that it is complete nonsense and should be torn up and thrown away," said a bearded Mr Gandhi at an impromptu press conference in New Delhi on Friday.