Rahul Gandhi criticises the centre and seeks support from Indian students in the US.
In a scathing criticism of the Centre following his recent disqualification as a member of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi, a prominent Congress leader, stated that he might be the first person to receive the “maximum sentence for defamation.” Speaking at Stanford University in the US, he expressed disbelief at the current state of affairs in the country compared to when he first entered politics in 2004. Gandhi acknowledged that he never anticipated facing such circumstances, including being subjected to severe defamation charges.
Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as an MP:
Gandhi’s disqualification as an MP from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat stemmed from his conviction in a criminal defamation case by the Surat trial court, which imposed a two-year sentence. However, he was subsequently granted bail in the case. This disqualification will prevent the 52-year-old four-time MP from participating in elections for the next eight years, unless a higher court intervenes by suspending his conviction and sentence.
The Congress leader’s removal from Parliament has led to an escalation in the confrontation between the BJP and the Congress, while also widening the divide with other opposition parties who have expressed their support for Gandhi. Nevertheless, during his speech at Stanford, Gandhi claimed that his disqualification presented him with a “greater opportunity” than merely holding a seat in Parliament.
He made reference to the Bharat Jodo Yatra, emphasising that the opposition was facing difficulties in India due to the BJP’s stronghold on institutions. Gandhi insisted that they were fighting this battle democratically, but when they realised that the institutions were not assisting them, they took to the streets.
When questioned about seeking foreign assistance to address the situation in India, Gandhi promptly denied such intentions, stating that their fight was their own. However, he acknowledged the presence of young Indian students in the audience and expressed his desire to communicate with them, asserting his right to do so. Furthermore, Gandhi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to engage with the public and respond to challenging questions.
This recent remark by Rahul Gandhi targeting the Prime Minister comes after his previous statement that India is governed by individuals who believe they possess superior knowledge, with Narendra Modi being “one such specimen.” The Congress leader humorously suggested that if Modi were seated next to God, he would attempt to explain to the Almighty how the universe functions, resulting in God becoming bewildered by his creation. These comments drew criticism from the BJP.
Rahul Gandhi is currently undertaking a three-city tour in California, USA, where he plans to engage with the Indian diaspora and meet American lawmakers. The visit, according to Indian Overseas Congress chief Pitroda, aims to promote shared values and a vision of “real democracy.”
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