Rahul Gandhi case Highlights: Amid a strain in ties over Rahul Gandhi’s remark on Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Sanjay Raut met the Congress leader and Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday in Delhi. “Met Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi today. We discussed many issues in detail. Everything is fine… there is no need to worry,” Raut said. The Shiv Sena (UBT) had warned Rahul against “insulting” Savarkar following a controversy over his recent ‘My surname is Gandhi, not Savarkar’ remark. Raut met the Gandhis at the Congress office in Parliament. It was Rahul’s first visit to the office after being disqualified as an MP following his conviction in a defamation case.
The Congress on Wednesday alleged that under the Narendra Modi government the laws were different for the ruling party and the opposition, and cited the example of Amreli BJP MP Naranbhai Bhikhabhai Kachhadia who was not disqualified despite being convicted in a criminal case and sentenced to a three-year jail term, news agency PTI reported. Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Shaktisinh Gohil in a press conference said that Kachhadia was convicted by a Gujarat court for beating up a Dalit doctor in 2016 and his conviction was held by the High Court. The BJP MP was not disqualified for weeks and he finally he got relief from the Supreme Court, but not without paying a fine, the politician said. Gohil claimed that the moment a higher court hears Rahul Gandhi’s case he will get relief.
The Congress’ nationwide protests against Gandhi’s “hasty” disqualification continued on Wednesday. Yesterday, the Delhi police released all the 96 protesters, including Congress leaders and workers, who were detained from outside the Red Fort as they set out to participate in the ‘Save Democracy’ march led by the Congress party. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi, the situation at the site is now normal. Party MPs and workers had gathered at the Red Fort at 7 pm to participate in the Congress’ ‘Loktantra Bachao Mashaal Shanti’ march called to protest against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification and the Adani scam.
The Congress expressed solidarity with former party chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday and accused the Centre of acting in haste as part of a conspiracy to disqualify him from the Lok Sabha after his conviction in a 2019 defamation case, which he is likely to challenge very soon, news agency PTI reported.
Sources, as per PTI, said a petition challenging Gandhi's conviction and sentencing by a trial court in Gujarat's Surat is ready.
The top legal advisors of the Congress are giving finishing touches to the review petition, which will be filed before the Surat sessions court "very shortly", they added.
“Deservedly Disqualified” might be a better title and theme for the editorial carried in this paper (‘Disqualified’, IE, March 25).
Without being coy about it, we need to understand that the court judgment sentencing Rahul Gandhi to prison for two years for criminal defamation has effectively said that Gandhi is both a liar and hurtful to others. It would be unfair to conflate the disqualification of Gandhi after conviction for defamation with the might of the government and the supposed loss of democratic freedoms in India.
Fusing the punishment of Gandhi and his being held legally unsuitable to hold public office with the decline of democracy in India and other accusations against the Narendra Modi government is neither here nor there. That the Modi government does not listen to the Opposition, that it is autocratic, are matters of political opinion and not fact. M. Rajivlochan writes
Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid said Wednesday that “while there are efforts to take Rahul Gandhi’s house from him, no one can take away his home”.
He said, “For all of us, this country is our home. The state of affairs of our home is worrisome, this country cannot be separated from democracy and when democracy is under attack, it affects us all.”
Khurshid’s comments came in the backdrop of the Parliament House committee issuing Rahul a notice to vacate his official bungalow within 30 days following his disqualification from Lok Sabha. Rahul has agreed to vacate the bungalow. Read More
A petition challenging Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's conviction and sentencing by a trial court in Surat in a defamation case is ready and is likely to be filed very soon, sources said on Wednesday.
The party's top legal advisors are working on the review petition which will be filed before the Surat sessions court in a day or two, they added.
Gandhi was convicted and was given a two-year sentence in the 2019 defamation case over his remarks on Modi surname, following which he was disqualified as MP of Lok Sabha.
The Congress has said that it will fight the matter both politically and legally and will take the issue to the public. Congress Whip in Lok Sabha Manickam Tagore said the government has deliberately disqualified Rahul Gandhi under a well-planned conspiracy to not allow him to attend Parliament during this budget session.
"This is a totally false case and his disqualification has come to keep him away from Parliament. But, we will fight it both legally and politically," he told reporters outside Parliament. Meanwhile, the Election Commission said it was in no hurry to announce bye-election to Wayanad constituency as the trail court has given Gandhi one month to appeal against the court order. (PTI)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has arrived at Parliament.
The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and Congress had discussed its internal issues, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut told news agency ANI.
"We will definitely attend the opposition meeting today and will participate in the protest as well. We give utmost priority to the unity of Opposition. The opposition is united in Maharashtra and also in the country," he said.
Tensions between the Congress and the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena seemed to have thawed following the row over Rahul Gandhi’s comments on VD Savarkar. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut indicated that the party will be participating in the meeting of Opposition leaders slated to take place today, as well as the protest against Gandhi’s disqualification from Lok Sabha. This comes after the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena skipped Opposition meetings on Monday over Gandhi’s comments.
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Senior Congress leader from Madhya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday said Rahul Gandhi, who was served a notice to vacate the government bungalow in Delhi post his disqualification as a Lok Sabha MP, can stay in his residence. Singh, a Rajya Sabha MP, said the entire country is like a family for Gandhi who has a "liberal heart".
“For people like you having a liberal heart, the entire country is your family. The feeling of Vasudhaiva kutumubakam (universe as a family) is the basic character of our country,” Singh tweeted with hashtag #MeraGharApkaGhar. “Rahulji my house is your house and I welcome you. I will consider myself lucky if you come and stay," he said.
Singh has an official residence in New Delhi. Gandhi was on Monday asked to vacate the government bungalow allotted to him by April 22 following his disqualification as the Wayanad MP after his conviction in a criminal defamation case by a court last week. (PTI)
Addressing a press conference this morning, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launched a scathing attack against Rahul Gandhi and the Congress. “Rahul Gandhi does the politics of entitlement,” Vaishnaw said, claiming that the Congress leader thought it was “his birthright to rule this country”.
“People who are putting corruption allegations on us, should try to recall how during the UPA govt, there was a conspiracy going on to weaken the institutions in the country,” he told news agency ANI.
He further alleged that Rahul thought he was “above the constitution, court and parliament” because he was born in a certain family.
As the Congress on Tuesday stepped up its protest against the “hasty” disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as a Lok Sabha MP, party MP Manish Tewari is learnt to have suggested to the leadership that it should give a notice to move a no-confidence motion against Speaker Om Birla. The leadership asked Tewari to draft the notice and he handed it over on Tuesday.
The party, sources said, had not yet taken a call on pursuing it. Sources said the leadership was not sure if the other Opposition parties would come on board. Sources said the leaders of some Opposition parties had signalled their reluctance to get behind such a move. The Congress leadership, sources said, does not want to do anything that may signal division in the Opposition camp. Read more.
All the protesters who were detained by the Delhi Police Tuesday from outside the Red Fort including major Congress leaders such as TN Pratapan, Deen Kuriakorse, JP Agrawal, Harish Rawat and Shakti Singh Gohil, have been released, according to Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Sagar Singh Kalsi.
A total of 96 protesters who had gathered to participate in the 'Save Democracy' march at Red Fort were detained by the police. They have all been released, the DCP said.
The situation in and around the protest site is back to normal.
About 50 Congress workers who had gathered Tuesday to participate in the 'Save Democracy' march at Red Fort were detained by the police. The area around Red Fort saw massive deployment of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and Delhi police.
(Express Photos by Tashi Tobgyal)
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh Tuesday while attending the 'Save Democracy' march in New Delhi called out the government for silencing the voices of the Opposition, by disqualifying party leader Rahul Gandhi, and detaining party workers from marching in protest.
The official handle of the Congress party tweeted a video of Ramesh, sitting at the protest, saying, 'This is murder of democracy. Our voices are being silenced inside and outside the Parliament. Disqualifying our leader and not allowing us to walk now. What democracy is this?'
The Delhi Police has so far detained over 50 Congress leaders and workers who had gathered to participate in the 'Loktantra Bachao Mashaal Shanti' march at the Red Fort.
Delhi Congress President Chaudhary Anil Kumar was among the Congress leaders who were detained from near the Red Fort in New Delhi on Tuesday.
While being detained, Kumar said, "We will not rest till Rahul ji's questions are answered because these are not for him, but the country. From where did the Rs. 20,000 crore which were given to Adani come, why were they given to him, why was banks' money allowed to be looted, why was the LIC destroyed...why is there a bid to save Adani, we are not going to be cowed down by the BJP's attempts to scare Rahul Gandhi ji and us...you can arrest us but we will not give up, the truth will eventually come out."
Congress MP Jairam Ramesh Tuesday participated in the party's 'Save Democracy' march, which began from the Red Fort in New Delhi.
A group of Congress workers led by party member Alka Lamba Tuesday reached the Red Fort to participate in the 'Save Democracy' march being organised by the party leaders in New Delhi.
The Congress leaders Tuesday began their 'Save Democracy' march from Red Fort amid police detention. The Delhi Police detained Congress protesters who had gathered to participate in the 'Loktantra Bachao Mashaal Shanti' march at 7 pm. The march will culminate at Town Hall in New Delhi.
Sharing a tweet, the Delhi Congress said, "The Delhi Police is stopping us from taking out the Loktantra Bachao Mashal Shanti March from Red fort, and did not allow us to reach the venue! However, this has not deterred us, and we have begun our march from the police barricades itself."
The Delhi police Tuesday detained the Congress leaders and workers who had gathered to participate in the ‘Loktantra Bachao Mashaal Shanti’, or the ‘Save Democracy’ march that was scheduled to begin at 7 pm at Red Fort.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had earlier, announced that all Congress MPs and leaders will participate in the march that will culminate at Town Hall in New Delhi.
"Around 50 Congress protesters have been detained from around Red Fort and taken to several police stations while they were holding protest against disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from parliament," said the Delhi Police
The Congress party Tuesday announced a series of campaigns scheduled to be held in the next 30 days, beginning March 29 (Wednesday).
Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut said Tuesday that NCP chief Sharad Pawar advised Rahul to refrain from commenting on the Hindutva ideologue while reminding him that the current fight is against autocracy.
“Talks are going on with Rahul-ji. We will soon sort out the issue. Those who attended the meeting at Kharge’s residence, including Sharad Pawar, have told Rahul Gandhi-ji to refrain from speaking on Savarkar since the current fight is against autocracy and not Savarkar,” the Sena (UBT) MP said, adding that Gandhi too agreed on this.
Read the full story here.
As the BJP tries to put Congress on the back foot over Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification, saying the remark it stemmed from showed the Congress’s anti-OBC bias, there is a reason the ruling party feels it has the upper hand when it comes to backward classes.
The history of post-Emergency politics in India is paved with examples of the grand old party missing the boat when it comes to OBC support, especially in its failure to claim credit for policy changes initiated by Congress governments.
The Congress has been struggling with the OBC question since soon after Independence, writes Shyamlal Yadav. Read more here.
Besides campaigns at block, district and state levels, the Congress will also conduct a national-level Jai Bharat Maha-Satyagraha in New Delhi in the month of April, party leader K C Venugopal announced on Tuesday.
Further campaign plans shall be communicated shortly, said the Congress leader. Monitoring committees at national and state levels will be present to assist these programmes on-ground.
The Congress will hold Jai Bharat Satyagraha at the state-level between April 20 and April 30, announced party leader K C Venugopal on Tuesday as he addressed a media conference at the AICC headquarters.
Senior national-level leaders will attend the events that will be organised in different states during this period, he said. Invitations for these events will also be sent to civil society participants.
Addressing a press conference at All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters, Congress leader K C Venugopal Tuesday announced that Jai Bharat Satyagraha will be conducted from March 29 to April 8 by Block and Mandal committees all over India.
'There will be corner meetings at Block and Mandal levels, and in those meetings, ... vindictive politics of the Narendra Modi government and the loot of Adani scam, everything will be explained,' he said.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh Tuesday announced that the 'Loktantra Bachao Mashaal Shanti' march will be held on Tuesday night, starting from Red Fort to Town Hall in New Delhi.
The march will start at 7 pm, and will see the participation of all Congress MPs and leaders."Our entire cadre are on the streets, we are getting support from the general public from all over India," said Congress leader K C Venugopal, while addressing a press conference.
"Whether it is day or night, party workers are participating ... We will continue this massive campaign and agitation further, under Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge ji ... and other leaders."
A series of press conferences are also scheduled to be held throughout the country on 28 and 29 march, followed by "district and block levels press conferences" by the PCCs.
Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken Tuesday said that the Congress' campaign following Rahul Gandhi's 'hasty disqualification' from the Lok Sabha is meant to safeguard democracy and highlight corruption in the country, a report by news agency PTI said.
Maken also reiterated the party's demand for setting up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe into the allegations against the Adani Group, as per the report. 'Why are they (BJP) afraid of setting up a JPC despite the fact that it will have the largest number of members in it?' 'The JPC is a must to expose the connection between Modi and Adani and also to identify the shell companies that are directly linked to national security as there is a possibility of these companies having direct backing from China and Pakistan,' he said.
'Look at the sequence of events, which culminated in the hasty disqualification of Gandhi -- who raised serious questions on the links between (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and Adani in Parliament. Instead of getting answers, he was disqualified which we see as democracy-disqualified,' Maken said, according to the PTI report.
'Our fight is not for Rahul (Gandhi) but it is meant to safeguard democracy in the country. We will continue our protest to expose corruption and safeguard the interests of the common citizens, who are becoming victims of crony capitalism,' Maken told reporters at the Congress' headquarters. (PTI)
NCP chief Sharad Pawar has stepped in to play the peacemaker by conveying Shiv Sena’s concerns about strains that have emerged withint the MVA alliance as a result of Rahul Gandhi's remark on V D Savarkar to the Congress leadership.
Congress has agreed to tone down its criticism of Savarkar, which has led to unease among the NCP and Shiv Sena, its alliance partners in Maharashtra, Opposition leaders said.
The matter was raised during a meeting on Monday evening where Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were present along with other Opposition leaders. Pawar raised the issue and made it clear that targeting Savarkar, a revered figure in Maharashtra, would not help the opposition alliance in the state, two leaders who attended the meeting told PTI. Read the Political Pulse by Manoj C G here.
A day after Rahul Gandhi was served a notice to vacate his official residence within 30 days, the Congress leader agreed to do so. Slamming the Centre over the notice, Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge said: "They will do everything to weaken him (Rahul Gandhi). He can go live with his mother or he can come to me, I will vacate one for him. I condemn this attitude of the government to threaten, scare and humiliate."
Rahul Gandhi agrees to vacate official residence after notice from House committee.
Behind a garlanded picture of Mahatma Gandhi, about 50 Congressmen hold a protest Sunday at Kalpetta in Kerala as part of the party’s daylong nationwide satyagraha against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as the Lok Sabha MP.
They are sitting on chairs arranged on a sidewalk in this town, the headquarters of Wayanad district, whose Lok Sabha seat fell vacant Friday when Rahul was disqualified following his conviction and sentencing to two years in jail by a Surat court in a defamation case over his 2019 remarks on the Modi surname. Read more
Union Minister Smriti Irani Tuesday said the fact, that Rahul Gandhi has been convicted not for abusing an individual but the OBC community, is known to every citizen of the country. Interacting with the media, Irani said, “The political psychosis of Rahul Gandhi is on full display. He kept lying in London and in India, inside and outside the Parliament. Rahul Gandhi’s target is PM Modi and PM Modi’s target is the development of the country.”
In other news, the grandson of late Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar has sought action against Rahul Gandhi for his "My name is not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi and Gandhi does not offer an apology to anyone" remark.
He also challenged the Gandhi to show documents that prove Savarkar had apologised to the British.
The former Congress MP made this remark while addressing a press meet following his disqualification from Lok Sabha. Read here.
Meanwhile, the United States is watching the court case of Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, an official has said while observing that Washington continues to engage with India on the shared commitment towards democratic principles and the protection of human rights, including freedom of expression.
Gandhi was on March 23 sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “why all thieves have Modi surname” remark. A day later, he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction in the case. Read more
In the latest updates on the case, Gandhi has been served a notice to vacate his official residence within 30 days. This comes days after he was disqualified from the lower house of Parliament following his conviction in a defamation case. The committee, chaired by BJP MP C R Patil, issued the notice on Monday morning, the sources added. Gandhi’s official residence – 12 Tughlak Lane – was allotted to him in 2004 after he won his first Lok Sabha election from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
“It is just a formality. Once you lose your membership, you have to give up your privileges and perks as an MP. Sending notice for eviction is just a formality,” said a source. Read full story here
Good morning! Welcome to Rahul Gandhi defamation case Live Updates. Watch this space for latest updates for developments in the Rahul Gandhi defamation case that has triggered protests in and outside the Parliament.