Rahul Gandhi disqualified as MP: A day after a Surat court convicted him in 2019 'Modi surname' defamation case, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as member of Lok Sabha on Friday. The Surat Sessions court awarded two-year sentence to Rahul Gandhi, however, he was granted bail and 30-day time to appeal against the decision.
"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," a notification issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat stated.
While the Congress called the decision to disqualify Rahul Gandhi, who represents the Wayanad constituency in Lok Sabha, as political vendetta and vowed to fight the battle both 'legally and politically', the Congress leader had limited options with him.
What's next for Rahul Gandhi
- According to legal experts, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has declared Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad parliamentary seat vacant. The Election Commission can now announce election on the seat. Rahul Gandhi can also be asked to vacate the government bungalow in Delhi as the notification of his disqualification has also been marked to Liaison Officer, Directorate of Estates, and Parliament Annexe.
- If the verdict of Rahul Gandhi's sentence is upheld by the higher courts also, then he will not be able to contest elections for the next 8 years. After completing two years of sentence, he will not be able to contest election for next six years.
- Rahul Gandhi can now challenge the decision of the Surat court in the high court. The Congress has also questioned the legality of the action that only the President can disqualify an MP in consultation with the Election Commission.
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How Congress, other Opposition leaders reacted:
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra:
In a series of tweets, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra slammed the decision to disqualify his brother Rahul and questioned why no action was taken when PM Modi made the 'Nehru surname' remark in Lok Sabha recently.
I’m stunned by this action and by its rapidity, within 24 hours of the court verdict and while an appeal was known to be in process. This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi:
We all know that Rahul Gandhi has been speaking out fearlessly both inside and outside the Parliament. Clearly, he is paying a price for it. The government is rattled. This government is finding new techniques to throttle his voice.
We'll fight strongly against this attack. Yesterday it was 'Shaheed Diwas', and today this political sacrifice by Rahul Gandhi (disqualification as MP), this will be a turning point in the country and the country will win the fight to save democracy.
In PM Modi’s New India, Opposition leaders have become the prime target of BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the cabinet, Opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches. Today, we have witnessed a new low for our constitutional democracy.
Tej Pratap Yadav:
This has been done as a part of a conspiracy. The people of Bihar and the entire nation are seeing what they (BJP) are doing. Everything happening at their (BJP) orders.