Congress today targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of violating constitutional norms in the wake of reports that for the first time an ordinance was sent to the President without the Cabinet clearing it.
The party’s chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters that the move was “unfortunate” and “smacks of growing authoritarian tendencies”.
His remarks came in the wake of reports that President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday signed an ordinance or executive order for the fourth time to amend a law that the government has been unable to pass in Parliament, but is reportedly upset as it was sent to him this time without being routed through the Union Cabinet.
The Prime Minister used Rule 12 of business and transactions to send to the President the ordinance, which amends the Enemy Property Act, a 48-year-old law to guard against claims of succession or transfer of properties left by people who migrated to Pakistan or China after wars.
This is the first time since Independence that an ordinance has been sent to the President without the Cabinet first clearing it Lok Sabha had passed a bill to amend the act earlier this year, but opposition parties want it reviewed and have stalled it in Rajya Sabha, where the government is in a minority, forcing it to keep it alive by issuing ordinance after ordinance.