Rahul Gandhi Disqualified From Lok Sabha Membership Day After Conviction In Defamation Case Over 'All Thieves Have Modi Surname' Remark
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from his Lok Sabha membership, a day after a Surat Court sentenced him to two years imprisonment over a criminal defamation case.
"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...,' reads the LS Secretariat letter, reports Times of India.
The Congress leader was sentenced to two years in jail in the case on Thursday (23 March) but was later granted bail by the court.
The case was filed against Gandhi for his alleged “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” remarks on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.
The Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad made the alleged remarks while addressing a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma had last week concluded hearing final arguments from both sides and set 23 March to pronounce its judgment in the four-year-old defamation case.
Gandhi had last appeared before the Surat court in the case, filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (dealing with defamation), in October 2021 to record his statement.
On Friday, BJP chief J P Nadda launched a scathing attack on Rahul, following his conviction in the defamation case for his casteist slur against an OBC community.
Nadda accused Gandhi of being a habitual offender and asserted that lies, personal slander, and negative politics were integral to his approach.
In a series of tweets, Nadda warned that the people's punishment for Gandhi would be more severe in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections than in 2019, when he lost in Amethi, and Congress suffered a national defeat.
Nadda criticised Gandhi for equating Other Backward Classes (OBC) communities with thieves, arguing that this exhibited a pathetic and casteist mindset.
He tweeted, "By comparing OBC communities to thieves, Mr Rahul Gandhi has shown a pathetic and casteist mindset. However, his latest tirade is not surprising. For the last many years he has always reduced levels of political discourse."
The BJP's aggressive assault follows Congress's claims that Gandhi is being targeted for questioning the Prime Minister over the Adani issue. The situation is further intensified as the two-year jail conviction order jeopardises Gandhi's Lok Sabha membership.
However, the BJP is determined to stay on the offensive, preventing the Congress from portraying the verdict in their own light.
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