Rahul Gandhi disqualified as MP after conviction in defamation case
Rahul Gandhi, a senior opposition leader in India, has been disqualified as a lawmaker following a criminal defamation conviction that led to a two-year prison sentence.
The lower house of parliament issued the order a day after the verdict in Gujarat state.
Gandhi, an MP from Wayanad in Kerala, plans to appeal the decision and is currently on bail for 30 days.
His party – The Congress Party, called the verdict “erroneous and unsustainable” and led a protest march in Delhi on Friday, with the opposition arguing that democracy in India is under threat.
Gandhi was convicted for his comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname at a 2019 election rally, and the verdict means he will be barred from contesting elections until he is acquitted or his sentence is suspended.
“My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God, non-violence the means to get it.”Mr Gandhi
In his reaction to Thursday’s verdict, Gandhi tweeted a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God, non-violence the means to get it.”
Several opposition parties have offered their support for Gandhi, and 14 parties have approached the Supreme Court alleging misuse of investigating agencies by the government to target BJP opponents.