Will fight BJP’s revenge politics ‘legally and politically’, says Congress; Oppn questions the speed with which he was disqualified
Cops stand near a partially torn banner with an image of Rahul Gandhi, in New Delhi. File pic/AFP
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from Lok Sabha on Friday, a day after he was convicted by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat, announcing his disqualification in a notification, said it was effective from March 23, the day of his conviction. He represented Wayanad constituency in Kerala.
“I am fighting for the voice of India. I am ready to pay any price,” Rahul tweeted later.
A court in Surat on Thursday sentenced Rahul to two years in jail in a defamation case for his 2019 remark: “...how are the names of all these thieves ‘Modi, Modi, Modi’… Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi...” Following his disqualification, Rahul would not be able to contest polls for 8 years unless a higher court stays his conviction and sentence.
Also Read: Opposition unitedly condemns Rahul’s ouster
“He has been removed from the House for speaking the truth, fighting for the Constitution and for people’s rights,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said. “We will not be intimidated or silenced. Instead of a JPC into the PM-linked Adani MahaMegaScam Rahul stands disqualified. Indian Democracy Om Shanti,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said he was stunned by the action against Rahul and by its rapidity. “This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy,” Tharoor tweeted.
Several Opposition leaders hit out at the BJP, including West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC president Mamata Banerjee. “...Today, we have witnessed a new low for our constitutional democracy,” she tweeted.
CPI leader Binoy Viswam said, “Where is our democracy heading to? For a speech made in Kolar (Karnataka), case in Surat (Gujarat), that too after how many years? Anybody of their dislike can be booked for whatever reason they decide! Today it is Rahul Gandhi, tomorrow it can be you or me. Time to unite in defence of democracy,” he said.
Union minister Ramdas Athawale on Friday said Rahul would not have been disqualified from Lok Sabha had he apologised for his alleged critical remarks about the Indian democracy.
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