In a major blow to the Congress Party, its former president Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from the Lok Sabha after being convicted in a 2019 criminal defamation case. The Lok Sabha Secretariat has declared his constituency vacant and the Election Commission can now announce a special election for the seat.
Congress has labelled this move a ‘conspiracy’ to silence the Wayanad MP, who has been questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged relationship with billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani, whose business empire has come under scrutiny after allegations of stock manipulation and fraud, and demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the issue.
According to Section 8(3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, a member of parliament is disqualified from their seat the moment they are convicted of any offence and sentenced to at least two years. “Shri Rahul Gandhi 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.
Mr Gandhi has been given a month to vacate his official residence as the order on his disqualification as an MP is marked to the Liaison Officer, Directorate of Estates, and Parliament Annexe. “Rahul Gandhi’s Lok Sabha membership has been terminated.
Despite every conspiracy, he will continue to fight for the people and the country, from the streets to the Parliament, trying everything possible to save democracy. The fight continues,” Congress said in a tweet in Hindi.