This article covers Rahul Gandhi’s arrest and various political statements made by Congress leaders in support of him.
Rahul Gandhi was supported by opposition parties all over the nation on Friday as he was stripped of his MP status after being found guilty of slander. Everyone criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP-led Central government for the action, from top Congress leaders to chief ministers of states where the opposition is in power.
Statements made by Congress Members
Within hours of the disqualification, top leader Abhishek Singhvi claimed that the action was nothing more than a political vendetta on the part of the BJP and that the Congress planned to obtain a stay of execution for him in order to overturn the disqualification’s legal justification.
“We all know that Rahul Gandhi has been speaking out fearlessly both inside and outside the Parliament. Clearly, he is paying the price for it. The government is rattled. This government is finding new techniques to throttle his voice,” he said.
While Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress, declared that the party would go to prison if necessary to save the nation, fellow MP Shashi Tharoor declared that the decision to disqualify Rahul was bad for our democracy.
“They (BJP) tried all ways to disqualify him. They don’t want to keep those who are speaking the truth, but we will continue to do so. We’ll continue our demand for a JPC. If needed, we’ll go to jail to save democracy,” Kharge said outside the Parliament.
“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,” Tharoor tweeted. Jairam Ramesh, too, took to Twitter to put out his statement. “We will fight this battle both legally and politically. We will not be intimidated or silenced. Instead of a JPC into the PM-linked Adani MahaMegaScam, @RahulGandhi stands disqualified. Indian Democracy Om Shanti,” he said.
Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, too, raised questions over the hasty nature of the disqualification. “Judgment on 23 March, disqualification on 24 March. The speed with which the system moved is astonishing. No time is spent on reflection, understanding or allowing time for legal review. Obviously, there are no voices of moderation in the BJP party or government. The net result is parliamentary democracy has suffered another cruel blow,” he said.
Congress MP KC Venugopal saw the move as a conspiracy to stop Rahul Gandhi’s fight for the truth. “The day Rahul Gandhi raised questions against Adani and PM Modi, this conspiracy was started to silence him. It’s a clear case of anti-democratic, dictatorship attitude of the BJP govt,” he said.
The Trinamool Congress, too, rallied its support behind Rahul Gandhi. “In PM Modi’s New India, Opposition leaders have become the prime target of the BJP. While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the Cabinet, Opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches. Today, we have witnessed a new low for our constitutional democracy,” TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said.