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Rahul disqualification: Congress slams Centre, says ‘Black Day in Democracy’

The Congress parliamentarian from Wayanad was convicted in a defamation case by a court in Gujarat's Surat on Thursday for his alleged "all thieves have Modi surname" remarks at a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar in 2019.

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New Delhi: The Congress on Friday slammed the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre after its MP Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from Lok Sabha as a member and termed it as ‘vendetta politics’.

The party also announced that it will take the matter of disqualification of its former president to the public across the country stating that it was done “intentionally”.

The Congress parliamentarian from Wayanad was convicted in a defamation case by a court in Gujarat’s Surat on Thursday for his alleged “all thieves have Modi surname” remarks at a rally in Karnataka’s Kolar in 2019. The court sentenced him to two years in jail. However, he was granted bail.

“The Modi government fears the most from Rahul Gandhi and Congress party. They want to silence those who speak the truth. Countrymen will not tolerate this dictatorship,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, reacting to Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lower House.

Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said,”The country is witnessing the politics of vendetta being spearheaded by the Modi government against Rahul Gandhi. Today, he has been disqualified. The Modi government and BJP are under the impression that Rahul Gandhi has to be throttled and muzzled because if he is allowed to speak inside the Parliament then the danger will come for them.”

He added, “This is a very cruel demonstration of an ‘autocrat’ government . Democracy cannot survive under the present dispensation. In India, those who are running the government, they do not believe in the principle of democracy.”

‘From the day Rahul Gandhi ji raised questions about Adani, a conspiracy was initiated to silence his voice. They never allowed him to speak out, which is a clear case of an anti-democratic and dictatorial attitude by the BJP government,” senior Congress leader and MP KC Venugopal said.

Defending her brother and the Congress parliamentarian from Wayanad, party’s general secretary Priyanaka Gandhi Vadra in a series of tweets wrote, “

Why has the BJP come to the rescue of those who looted the country’s money? Why is it running away from investigation? Those who are raising questions, cases are filed against them.”

Taking a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vadra said,”We will never bow down before you. Do whatever you want.”

Echoing a similar sentiment, Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala also took to the micro-blogging site and wrote, “Today is a ‘Black Day’ in Democracy ! Today is a ‘blot’ on “Right to Speak” !

Today is ‘death knell’ of calling out ‘fugitives and bank fraudsters’ ! Today is the day of ‘blind revenge’ of the PM for asking for JPC into Adani ! Today is the day of fighting for truth and not bowing down”.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi while addressing a press conference at the party headquarters said, “This government is rattled because Rahul Gandhi speaks with facts and figures on demonetisation, GST, and on China issue. It is finding new techniques for throttling his voice. This is done to divert attention from the real issues, and also to send a message to those who dare to question this government.”

“Though the conviction is by a court in Rahul Gandhi’s case, the disqualification under Article 103 of the Constitution has to be by the President of India. Under the Article, the President has to first before disqualifying Rahul Gandhi take an opinion from the Election Commission. This is not done,” the MP claimed.

He added, “We have full faith in the law. We believe we will emerge victorious.”

Meanwhile, Congress general Secretary in-charge Communications and MP , Jairam Ramesh at a press conference at the party headquarters apprised about the meeting of senior leaders, state unit presidents, CLP leaders held under the leadership of Kharge, in presence of CPP chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

“It was decided in the meeting to take the matter of disqualification of Rahul Gandhi to the public across the country. His disqualification was done intentionally,” he informed.

In response to a question , the Congress MP said, “It was noted today that many Opposition parties have condemned the action taken by the government . We welcome the statement of all Opposition leaders.”

Earlier in the day, he wrote in a tweet, “We will fight this battle both legally and politically. We will not be intimidated or silenced. Instead of a JPC into the PM-linked ‘Adani MahaMegaScam’, Rahul Gandhi stands disqualified. Indian Democracy Om Shanti.”

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