Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represented Wayanad constituency in Kerala state, was disqualified from his Lok Sabha membership from March 23.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor found Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from Lok Sabha membership “ironic” as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was demanding apology for his “democracy under attack” remark in London. Tharoor said that Rahul Gandhi “only tried to convey the state of Indian democracy to a British audience” and the BJP-led union government “decided to reveal its bare condition to the whole world.” (Also Read | Congress points to ‘sudden change of tactics’ on Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal retweets)
BJP has been on the offensive against Rahul Gandhi over his recent remarks during an interaction at Cambridge University where he said Indian democracy is under attack and several politicians, including himself, are under surveillance. His speech mentioned alleged capture and control of media and judiciary; surveillance and intimidation; coercion by federal law enforcement agencies; and the choking of dissent.
The ruling BJP has been demanding Gandhi’s apology for his remarks made overseas on Indian democracy and Parliament.
“Ironic: @RahulGandhi only tried to convey the state of Indian democracy to a British audience. The BJP government, though, through its actions, decided to reveal its bare condition to the whole world,” Tharoor said in a tweet.
Gandhi was disqualified from Lok Sabha on Friday, a day after he was found guilty by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case. The court sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail in the defamation case filed on a complaint by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi for his “Modi surname” remark. The disqualification will bar the Congress leader from contesting polls for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction and sentence.
During an election rally in 2019, Gandhi said, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?”
He went on to name fugitive Indian diamond tycoon Nirav Modi, banned Indian Premier League (IPL) boss Lalit Modi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The action against Rahul Gandhi also saw a shift in the dynamics of opposition ranks with Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Bharat Rashtra Samithi and Samajwadi Party, despite their differences with the Congress, expressing strong support for the embattled leader.
( National )
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