Following his disqualification from the Lok Sabha due to his conviction in a defamation case in 2019, Rahul Gandhi gave his first press conference. In response to the BJP’s requests for an apology, he gave one. Rahul Gandhi, the leader of the Congress, declared on Saturday that he would not apologise for his recent comments about Indian democracy in London. He commented, “My name is not Savarkar, it is Gandhi and Gandhi never offers an apology”.
The BJP has requested an apology from Rahul Gandhi for his comments made during his visit to London, in which he claimed that the institutions of India are being attacked on a large scale and that the structures of Indian democracy are under “brutal attack.” In the Lok Sabha, he claimed, microphones were frequently “silenced” against the opposition.
Several BJP lawmakers including Federal Ministers Rajnath Singh, Piyush Goyal, and Giriraj Singh criticised Rahul Gandhi’s recent comments in London that claimed risks to Indian democracy. They requested an apology from the former Wayanad MP in Parliament prior to his expulsion from the Lok Sabha. The Speaker of the House was also urged to take action against him. “Our mikes are not out of order, they are functioning, but you still can’t switch them on. That’s happened to me a number of times while I am speaking,” the former Congress chief had told the UK MPs while addressing a group of UK MPs in the Grand Committee Room within the House of Commons.
The former Wayanad MP spoke at a press conference on Saturday and stated: “My job is to defend the democratic nature of the country which means defending the institutions of the country, defending the voice of the poor people of the country, and telling people the truth about people like Adani who are exploiting the relationship they have with the PM.”
Rahul Gandhi had his first press conference after the Lok Sabha secretariat declared him ineligible for office due to his conviction in a defamation case in 2019. From the date of his conviction in the criminal defamation case involving his remark about the “Modi surname,” or March 23, he was ineligible to serve as a member of the Lok Sabha. On Friday, the Lok Sabha Secretariat released a notification in this regard.
“Consequent upon his conviction by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat in C.C./18712/2019, Shri 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 in terms of the provisions of Article 102(1)(e) of the Constitution of India read with Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951,” the notification by the Lok Sabha Secretariat reads.
The Congress Party reacted to the development saying that it will fight the battle “both legally and politically.” “We will not be intimidated or silenced. Instead of a JPC into the PM-linked Adani MahaMegaScam, @RahulGandhi stands disqualified. Indian Democracy Om Shanti,” the party’s General Secretary in-charge Communications Jairam Ramesh wrote on Twitter.
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, @RahulGandhi stands disqualified. Indian Democracy Om Shanti. pic.twitter.com/d8GmZjUqd5
— Jairam Ramesh (@Jairam_Ramesh) March 24, 2023
In the lawsuit brought against him for his comments about the “Modi surname,” a Surat court on Thursday condemned Rahul Gandhi to two years in prison. In order to give him time to file an appeal with a higher court, the judge also granted him bail and postponed the punishment for 30 days. He, 52, was found guilty by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate H H Varma of violating sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Criminal Code (IPC).