Rahul Gandhi disqualified from parliament as MP from Lok Sabha
Diplomat Times (New Delhi)- Rahul Gandhi, of the opposition Congress party, was sentenced to two years imprisonment but walked free on bail after his lawyers vowed to appeal Thursday’s verdict. However, the conviction has ruled him ineligible to continue sitting in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of the Indian parliament, a notice from the chamber’s joint secretary said.
I am fighting for the voice of India. I am ready to pay any cost. Rahul Gandhi tweeted
मैं भारत की आवाज़ के लिए लड़ रहा हूं।
मैं हर कीमत चुकाने को तैयार हूं।
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 24, 2023
“I’m stunned by this action and by its rapidity,” said Shashi Tharoor, a lawmaker and former foreign minister from Congress party. “This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy.”
Gandhi, 52, is the leading face of the Congress party, once the dominant force of Indian politics, with a proud role in ending British colonial rule, but now a shadow of its former self. He is the scion of India’s most famous political dynasty and the son, grandson and great-grandson of former prime ministers, beginning with independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru.
But he has struggled to challenge the electoral juggernaut of Modi and its nationalist appeals to the country’s Hindu majority.
Due to the disqualification, under Section 8 (3) of the Representation of People Act 1951, Rahul will not be able to contest the 2024 and 2029 Lok Sabha elections unless he secures an interim stay of conviction — an outcome of which the Congress is “absolutely hopeful”. Section 8 (3) of the RPA says, “A person 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.”
This effectively means Rahul won’t be able to contest elections for a period of eight years from the day his sentence starts (unless of course he gets the conviction stayed).
With the Congress leader set to lose all perks and perquisites of an MP (including his 12, Tuglaq Lane residence), the developments today triggered a massive political faceoff between the ruling BJP and the Congress ahead of elections in six states — Karnataka, Telangana, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.
Both parties spun their own narratives around the event which brought an otherwise divided opposition together with AAP, TMC, SP, DMK, and SAD supporting Rahul.
Reaction of leaders after Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification :
1.“This battle is political before it is legal,” said AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh, adding that what happened is part of a pattern to harass Rahul.
2.“The speed with which the system moved is astonishing,” the Congress politician P.C. Chidambaram said in a post on Twitter, commenting on Mr. Gandhi’s removal. “No time is spent on reflection, understanding or allowing time for legal review.”
3.“This fight is not Rahul Gandhi’s fight. This fight is not the Congress party’s fight. This is a fight to save this country from a dictator, from a less-educated person,” said Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party, which bills itself as the strongest alternative to either the B.J.P. or Congress. “It’s a fight to save this country from an arrogant person.”
4.Derek O’Brien, the spokesman for one of the parties that has managed to stave off Mr. Modi’s B.J.P. at the regional level, said in a video that what Mr. Modi was doing was “the lowest in the history of parliamentary democracy.”
Reaction on Mr Rahul Gandhi's disqualification pic.twitter.com/WCBDBxDL5n
— Derek O'Brien | ডেরেক ও'ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) March 24, 2023
Statement of CM of Telangana Sri KCR on the disqualification of Congress MP
from Lok Sabha:
5.“Sri Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification is an attack on Democratic principles and Constitutional values of India. It reflects the autocratic and egoistic personality of Sri
Statement of CM Sri KCR on the disqualification of Congress MP @RahulGandhi from Lok Sabha:
“Sri Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification is an attack on Democratic principles and Constitutional values of India. It reflects the autocratic and egoistic personality of Sri @narendramodi.” pic.twitter.com/vJvMOWYCbM
— Telangana CMO (@TelanganaCMO) March 24, 2023