Rahul Gandhi Lok Sabha Disqualification Live Updates: Hours after he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha due to a conviction in a criminal defamation case, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Friday, 24 March, took to Twitter to say that he is ready to pay any cost as he is 'fighting for the voice of India.'
Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha after his 'Modi surname' remark made in Karnataka in 2019. The development came a day after a trial court in Gujarat sentenced him to two years in jail in the criminal defamation case.
A meeting of senior Congress leaders including Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, is underway at the AICC headquarters to decide the future strategy.
Protesting Congress party workers, meanwhile, clashed with security personnel and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at several places including Delhi, Lucknow, Raipur, and Ranchi.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi leaves from Parliament House complex, in New Delhi, Friday, March 24, 2023. Gandhi has been disqualified from the Lok Sabha, the Lok Sabha Secretariat said on Friday.
Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge with party leaders Sonia Gandhi and others during a meeting at AICC headquarters, in New Delhi, Friday, March 24, 2023, after Rahul Gandhis disqualification from Lok Sabha following his conviction in a defamation case and over other issues.
Congress leaders Jairam Ramesh and Abhishek Manusinghvi address a press conference, in New Delhi, Friday, March 24, 2023.
A notice by the Lok Sabha secretariat said that the disqualification is in terms of the provisions of Article 102 (1) (e) of the Constitution of India read with Section 8 of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
Reacting to the disqualification, the Congress party said that it would keep fighting the battle against "attempts to silence Rahul Gandhi."
Leaders across party lines, including TMC's Mamata Banerjee, AAP's Arvind Kejriwal, RJD's Tej Pratap Yadav, and AAP's Sanjay Singh condemned the disqualification.
Rahul Gandhi had made the remarks in a rally in Karnataka saying: "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi. How come all the thieves have 'Modi' as a common surname?"
'Deep Betrayal of Gandhian Philosophy': US Congressman
US Congressman Ro Khanna also reacted to the news of Rahul Gandhi's disqualification, calling it a "deep betrayal of Gandhian philosophy" on Twitter.
Khanna is a US Representative of California’s 17th District and belongs to The Democratic Party.
'Will Launch Jan-Andolan Across India': Congress
Addressing a press conference on Friday night, 24 March, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said that the party "will go all over the country saying Rahul Gandhi was deliberately disqualified for raising his voice against the Modi government."
He also welcomed the statements issued by other Opposition parties condemning Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Parliament.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan Condemns the Disqualification of Rahul Gandhi
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan came out in support of Rahul Gandhi following his disqualification.
"The hasty disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha is the latest episode in the ongoing assault on our democracy by the Sangh Parivar. Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified citing a court verdict in a case which was filed against him for a political speech. The use of force to suppress dissent is a fascistic method," he said.
'Height of Modi's Arrogance': KCR
BRS president and Telangana Chief Minister Sri K Chandrashekhar Rao called Rahul Gandhi's disqualification a "black day for Indian democracy" and "height of arrogance of PM Narendra Modi."
"It is highly reproachable that the Modi government is not only abusing constitutional institutions but also using the highest democratic platform- the Parliament for its nefarious activities.
"It is the adverse time for democracy and the Constitutional values. The Modi’s regime overshadowed the emergency. Harassment of opposition leaders has become a routine. Modi on his own is collapsing by disqualifying opposition leaders to protect criminals and cheaters. This is not the time for conflicts between parties," he said.