NEW DELHI: Rahul Gandhi in his first address to the media on Saturday, a day after getting disqualified from Lok Sabha
, said that his voice cannot be silenced by disqualifying him as a Member of Parliament.
Congress leader’s disqualification from Lok Sabha as a MP came after the Surat court on Thursday sentenced him to two years imprisonment in a defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark made in 2019 during an election rally in Karnataka. Rahul had made the ‘how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname’ remark in April 2019, at a Lok Sabha election rally at Kolar in Karnataka. The criminal defamation case against Rahul was filed by BJP MLA from Surat West Purnesh Modi.
The court sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail in a criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remarks at a 2019 poll rally in Karnataka. However, the court also granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court.
Politicians disqualified in the past
<p>Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified as a Lok Sabha member following his conviction in the criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.<br /></p>
<p>The RJD supremo was disqualified from the Lok Sabha after his conviction in the fodder scam case in September 2013. RJD also saw Jagdish Sharma, Anil Kumar Sahni, Anant Singh, Raj Ballabh Yadav and Ilyas Hussain getting disqualified as MLAs.<br /></p>
<p>AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa was disqualified from the Tamil Nadu Assembly in 2014 after she was convicted in disproportionate assets case. She had to resign from the chief minister’s post. TM Selvaganapathy and P Balakrishna Reddy were also disqualified from TN Assembly.</p>
<p>SP leader Azam Khan was disqualified from the UP Assembly in 2022 after being sentenced to jail in a hate speech case. His son Abdullah Azam Khan was disqualified this year after his conviction over charges of attacking policemen.</p>
<p>Kuldeep Singh Sengar was disqualified from UP Assembly in 2020 following his conviction in a rape case. Rashid Masood, Bajrang B Singh, Vikram Saini, Khabbu Tewari, Ashok Chandel were others MLAs from UP to be removed from their posts.<br /><br /></p>
<p>Congress MLA Pradeep Chaudhary was disqualified from the Haryana Assembly in 2021 following conviction in an assault case. While Karnataka saw Vatal Nagaraj and Subhash Kalkur being removed, Kerala saw MLAs Jayarajan, PC Thomas, A Raja, Shaji getting disqualified.<br /></p>
<p>Under Section 8(3) of Representation of the People Act, a person convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than 2 years will be disqualified from the date of conviction and remain so for another 6 years after release. </p>
<p>For an MP or MLA, disqualification will not take effect until 3 months from conviction date or if within that period an application for revision of conviction or sentence is brought, until the application is disposed of by court. </p>
<p>The immediate challenge before Rahul is to convince a higher court to quash his conviction in the criminal defamation case. Even if the conviction is not quashed but the sentence is reduced to less than 2 years, Rahul will manage to get his disqualification reversed.<br /><br /></p>
Rahul was an MP from the seat of Wayanad in Kerala.
More to follow