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Congress MP Rahul Gandhi disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha after his conviction in the criminal defamation case over 'Modi surname' remark made in Karnataka in 2019.
The development comes a day after a trial court in Gujarat sentenced him to two years in jail in connection with a 2019 criminal defamation case against him.
What the Disqualification Notice Said
The disqualification notice by the Lok Sabha secretariat said: "Consequent upon his conviction by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat in C.C./18712/2019, Shri 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 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."
'Dictatorship,' says Congress; Party Meet at 5:00 pm
Reacting to the disqualification, the Congress party said that it will keep fighting the battle against "attempts to silence Rahul Gandhi."
"We will continue to fight. The strategy from here will be discussed within the party," party chief Mallikarjun Kharge told PTI.
Kharge said that a meeting of senior party leaders has been called at 5:00 pm today to formulate the strategy as to how to proceed forward.
Congress communications in-charge Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter to say: "We will fight this battle both legally and politically. We are not going to be afraid or silent. Instead of forming the JPC as is being demanded on the Adani scams, Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified.
Congress MP KC Venugopal called the suspension an attempt to "silence Rahul Gandhi."
"It's a clear case of anti-democratic and dictatorship attitude of the BJP government," Venugopal said.
The 'Modi Surname' Defamnation Case
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?"
Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Purnesh Modi filed the criminal defamation case against him over the remark.
After the sentencing, Gandhi was granted bail to enable him to move an appeal against his conviction within 30 days.
Gandhi later took to Twitter to quote Mahatma Gandhi saying: "My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God, non-violence the means to get it."
Under What Law has Gandhi been Disqualified?
The law which deals with this (Section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951) says that any legislator “convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of such conviction and shall continue to be disqualified for a further period of six years since his release.”
BJP Welcomes Disqualification
Speaking to news agency ANI, Union Minister Anurag Thakur said that Rahul Gandhi has often crossed the line in the Parliament.
"Rahul Gandhi is on a bail in a corruption case of National Herald...He is habitual of going far from truth in Parliament. I think Rahul Gandhi believes he is above the Parliament, the law, the country. He thinks he is privileged and that the Gandhi family can do anything," Thakur said.
Addressing the media, Union Minister Bhupender Yadav said that freedom of speech does not mean defaming a community.
"How can he (Rahul Gandhi) call the entire community "chor"? He abused the OBC community. He is not even issuing an apology for his remarks. He also defamed the nation abroad," Yadav said.
Other Opposition Parties Condemn Disqualification
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