"We condemn the decision to disqualify Rahul Gandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha. We decided to walk out in protest," said senior Congress leader Nana Patole
The Opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on Friday staged a walkout to protest the disqualification of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha.
Earlier in the day, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said Gandhi has been disqualified from the Lok Sabha, a day after a Surat court convicted him in a 2019 criminal defamation case.
"We condemn the decision to disqualify Rahul Gandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha. We decided to walk out in protest," said senior Congress leader Nana Patole.
The Opposition members, including MLAs from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena (UBT), then protested on the stairs of Vidhan Bhavan.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar said the law under which a member stands disqualified after a conviction was enacted by the erstwhile Congress-led UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government and the Centre has implemented it.
The Congress MLAs staging a walkout is laughable," he said.
A court in Surat sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail in a defamation case on Thursday, filed on a complaint by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi for his alleged remark, "How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?"
Announcing his disqualification on Friday, the Lok Sabha Secretariat in a notification said that it was effective from March 23, the day of his conviction.
Also read: Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Lok Sabha after conviction in defamation case
"Consequent upon his conviction by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat... Rahul Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction i.e. 23 March, 2023," the notification read.
Following his disqualification, Gandhi would not be able to contest elections for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction and sentence.
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