Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday remarked on the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as Lok Sabha MP following his conviction in a criminal defamation case, and said that the Congress party will now blame the BJP for the same and even criticize the judiciary.
“We haven’t advised Rahul Gandhi to make extremely disgraceful & irresponsible comment,” Rijiju said on social media.
“The Constitution of India treats all the Citizens of the country equally and thus, everyone is equal in the eyes of law. Therefore, all the MPs also have equal rights to speak in the Parliament. The problem arises when someone is treated as special & all others as ordinary,” he added.
He further said that Gandhi made a derogatory remark and disgraced an entire community.
“We can’t blame all Gandhi surnames just because Rahul Gandhi insulted Indian democracy, our Armed forces and India’s institutions. Rahul Gandhi made very derogatory remark and disgraced an entire OBC community. Shockingly, some Congress leaders are trying to defend it,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress party on Friday came down heavily at the Centre over the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as a Lok Sabha member, calling it a “strangulation of democracy” while exuding confidence that the disqualification will be revoked through a stay on his conviction by a higher court.
The party alleged that Rahul’s disqualification is part of a “pattern” to stop him from speaking out against the Central government and also an attempt to divert public attention from real issues.
Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lower House earlier on Friday, a day after his conviction by the Surat court in a defamation case for a remark using the ‘Modi surname’ at a rally in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing a press conference at the party headquarters in the national capital, Congress national spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi and senior leader Jairam Ramesh lashed out at the Centre over the disqualification of the former national party president.
“The issue before us is political, more than it is legal. It is a political issue because it signifies the systematic, repetitive emasculation of democratic institutions by the ruling party. It signifies the strangulation of democracy itself. We know that defamation is an exception to free speech, but over the last several years, we have had repeated examples of unthinkable assaults on freedom of speech, more importantly, freedom after speech. We all know that Rahul Gandhi has been speaking fearlessly inside and outside Parliament. He is paying a price for it,” Singhvi said.