Rahul Gandhi gains heft, to reclaim Lok Sabha seat and contest elections

Congress: Reinstate him in the LS immediately

Rahul Gandhi

Congress workers on Friday burst into joy and jubilation as the Supreme Court suspended the conviction of Rahul Gandhi, paving the way for his return to the Lok Sabha and in the 2024 General Election fray.

Congress: Reinstate him immediately

  • Congress has sought immediate reinstatement of Rahul in the LS so that he can take part in the no-confidence motion debate starting August 8
  • LS leader Adhir Chowdhury said Speaker Om Birla had sought a copy of the SC judgment to initiate the process

Even as top Congress brass led by party president Mallikarjun Kharge and Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury called upon Speaker Om Birla to reinstate Rahul at the same “breakneck speed at which he was disqualified within 24 hours after the conviction by a Surat court”, Rahul himself appeared calm and composed.

He joined sister Priyanka Vadra and party workers in celebrations at the AICC headquarters here with top leaders hailing what they described as a “rise in Rahul’s political prominence, thanks to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha on March 24 followed by eviction from the official residence, 12 Tughlaq Lane, within a month of the notice post disqualification”.

Now Rahul is set to regain his LS berth, official bungalow, and also a ticket to contest the next year’s Lok Sabha election, with the Congress today saying that the former party president had ended up gaining “tremendous political heft having been through all this”.

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“In an election year, perceptions matter,” a senior Congress leader said, adding that PM Narendra Modi had repeatedly attacked Rahul over the “Modi surname” remarks in the Karnataka election campaign which the BJP lost badly. The Congress also feels Rahul’s insistence to not apologize in the matter set him apart from the rest of the opposition camp, where “examples of leaders buckling under varied pressures abound”.

Rahul Gandhi

The defamation case against Mr. Gandhi, brought by BJP lawmaker Purnesh Modi, revolved around comments the Congress leader made in Karnataka state in 2019 during an election rally.

“Why do all these thieves have Modi as their surname? Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi,” he said.

This is the of the sentence.

“This is the victory of the people,” AICC general secretary organization KC Venugopal said, as the Congress sought to equate Rahul’s vindication in the SC with his exoneration in the people’s court too after the BJP had painted him as anti-OBC for calling OBCs names.

The Congress is now counting days to Rahul’s reinstatement in the Lok Sabha. Adhir urged Speaker Birla to restore Rahul’s membership before Tuesday so that he could participate in the no-confidence motion debate starting August 8.

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The Speaker has sought a copy of the SC judgment to initiate the process, Adhir added. Importantly, NCP’s Lakshadweep MP PP Mohammad Faizal’s LS membership was restored two months after the Kerala High Court stayed his conviction in an attempt to murder case. His stay order came on January 25 this year and LS membership was restored on March 29.

We hope Faizal’s episode is fresh in the BJP’s mind and they don’t adopt any delaying tactics in the case of Rahul Gandhi, said Abhishek Singhvi, his lawyer on the matter.

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