“It is only a president who has the stature of a statesman…the president must be perceived to be fair and a constitutionalist.”
Arun Jaitley, BJP leader

New Delhi : BJP leader Arun Jaitley has praised President Pranab Mukherjee for ‘scuttling’ the government move to pass anti-graft ordinances, saying he has set a precedent for the future.

In an article published on Tuesday, the Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha quoted media reports, and said it was Mukherjee’s reluctance which ‘scuttled’ the government’s decision to promulgate a certain set of ordinances under article 123. “His memory for precedents and propriety has been unparalleled,” Jaitley said. “The constitutionalist as the president can set a great precedent for the future.”

Jaitley said the president is bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers.  However, “an unstated function that the president has: He is vested with an undefined and unstated moral authority”. “It is only a president who has the stature of a statesman commanding public respect that he can exercise this moral authority. For commanding that stature, the president must be perceived to be fair and a constitutionalist,” he said.

On the circumstances in which ordinances can be passed, Jaitley said both houses of parliament must not be in session.                           –PTI

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