New Delhi, March 25, 2023 (PPI-OT): The disqualification and conviction of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the defamation case related to the Modi surname has drawn massive outrage from leaders across the political spectrum in India.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from membership of the parliament on Friday following a court in Gujarat’s Surat city convicted him in a case related to the statement he made about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The disqualification came in for strong condemnation from prominent leaders of different political parties. Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader, Sitaram Yechury, described the actions against Rahul Gandhi as an “authoritarian assault”. In a tweet, he said, it is condemnable that the BJP is now using the criminal defamation route to target opposition leaders and disqualify them as done with Rahul Gandhi now.
Member of Rajya Sabha (upper house of Indian Parliament) from TMC (Trinamool Congress) Derek O’Brien called the development “the lowest since 1950” and “terrible”. “BJP is desperate to silence the voice of the opposition. We know that they are desperate. We know that they want to silence the opposition voice. We know that they would go to all lows. This is the low of the low,” he said. Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray faction) chief, Uddhav Thackeray, called the disqualification as “murder of democracy”. “Rahul Gandhi’s candidacy has been cancelled. Calling a thief, a thief has become a crime in our country. Thieves and looters are still free and Rahul Gandhi was punished. This is a direct murder of democracy. All govt systems are under pressure. This is the beginning of the end of the dictatorship. Only the fight has to be given direction,” Thackery was quoted by the Indian media as saying.
Noted Supreme Court lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, called the conviction of Rahul Gandhi by the Surat court “ridiculous”. “Despite the ridiculous conviction for defamation for 2 yrs by the Surat court, the sentence was stayed for 30 days for Rahul to appeal. But within a day, the Lok Sabha sect disqualified him! All to prevent him from speaking on Adani. BJP has stalled Parl for 2 weeks for this,” Bhushan tweeted.
Reacting to the defamation case against Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav accused the BJP of defaming the country, people, and the constitution. He said that the BJP is scared of the opposition. That’s why the party slapped cases against the opposition leaders. Senior journalist Sagrika Gosh said that the conviction of Rahul Gandhi in the defamation case is “excessive” and asked whether the people from the BJP who used foul language will be convicted. Member of Rajya Sabha and prominent Supreme Court advocate Kapil Sibal said the legal process is being used for political ends.
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