NDTV: In a huge setback for the Congress party, its former president Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from the Lok Sabha because of his conviction in a 2019 criminal defamation case.
"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 Lok Sabha secretariat said in a notification issued today.
Responding to the notification, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari called the decision erroneous. "Lok Sabha secretariat cannot disqualify an MP. The President has to do it in consultation with the Election Commission," he told NDTV.
Shashi Tharoor, another senior Congress MP, said it bodes ill for democracy.
"I'm stunned by this action and by its rapidity, within 24 hours of the court verdict and while an appeal was known to be in process. This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy," he tweeted.
Congress units in several states this morning launched simultaneous protests, accusing the Centre of political vendetta. Karnataka police detained Congress state president DK Shivakumar and other party leaders and workers who were protesting against the Surat Court verdict against Mr Gandhi.