Friday, June 02, 2023
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Rahul Gandhi disqualified from Parliament

INDIA: India’s main Opposition Leader Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified as a Member of Parliament, a day after being convicted in a defamation case and sentenced to two years in jail.

“Rahul Gandhi… stands disqualified from the member of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction,” a notice issued by the Parliament said on Friday, referring to the lower house.

Gandhi, 52, was found guilty for a speech ahead of the 2019 General Election in which he referred to thieves as having the surname Modi. Gandhi, a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family and former President of the Congress Party, will appeal in a higher court, the party said.

Congress officials have described the court order as politically motivated and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of targeting political opponents.

“This battle will be fought both legally and politically,” said Congress spokesman Pawan Khera.

“Rahul Gandhi will not stop from asking difficult questions and exposing crony capitalism and this government’s active role in promoting and protecting it,” he said.

Earlier on Friday, Congress members held protests in some parts of the country against Gandhi’s conviction and two-year-old jail sentence.

BJP President J P Nadda dismissed the charges, saying that Gandhi insulted a section of Indians who happen to share the same surname as Prime Minister Modi.