The President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam has returned the office of profit bill that the UPA government had hurriedly passed after an NDA walkout recently. Kalam has apparently raised two key objections. First , the lack of uniformity in the bill, in the sense an office of profit in one State not being an office of profit in another. Second, the retrospective effect the Bill seeks to provide to the 56 offices which have been exempted all the way back to 1959.
The news is still breaking, but has Kalam cooked Sonia Gandhi's goose, who had dramatically quit the Lok Sabha to save her skin and got re-elected so as to have a smooth reign at the National Advisory Council? Worse, is Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and a whole bunch of Left MPs in mortal danger of losing their posts? (Complaints against 200 MLAs in various States are also before the Election Commission.)
The Bill can either be modified. Or it can still be sent back by Parliament in its present form and the President, under the Constitution, will have no option but to sign the dotted line. But has Mr Kalam sent a vital message to a government which also has an equally hurriedly thought up Bill on the 27 per cent reservations for OBCs on the anvil for the monsoon session?
Can't resist the pun: have Sonia and Sania been humbled for good on the same day?