Congress conspiring to use Rahul's conviction for Karnataka polls: BJP
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Saturday accused the Congress of conspiring to use Rahul Gandhi's conviction in a 2019 defamation case and disqualification as a Lok Sabha member to use it for the Karnataka Assembly polls. Prasad also dismissed Gandhi's allegations of being framed due to his statements over the Adani Group-Hindenburg Research row as "baseless."
Why does this story matter?
- On Thursday, Gandhi was convicted in the defamation case by a court in Surat, Gujarat—the BJP heartland. The next day he was disqualified from Lok Sabha.
- Earlier, too, the BJP demanded his suspension for reportedly slandering India during his recent United Kingdom (UK) visit, where he alleged that Indian democracy was in danger.
- The development has triggered a fresh political row in the country.
Why Congress lawyers are silent on Gandhi's case: Prasad
Prasad further questioned Congress over not seeking a stay on Gandhi's conviction from the Gujarat High Court or Supreme Court despite having an army of top lawyers. He claimed Congress got the apex court's stay order in the party spokesperson Pawan Khera's case within an hour. "Why were their lawyers silent on Rahul Gandhi's case? The BJP wants to raise this question," he said.
Congress making it look like Gandhi sacrificed position: BJP leader
The BJP leader also alleged that Congress was conspiring to make it look like Gandhi sacrificed his MP post to benefit from it in the Karnataka elections. He claimed that not just Gandhi but 32 others, including BJP lawmakers, were disqualified across the country. Prasad also accused Gandhi of "abusing" Other Backward Classes (OBCs), adding the BJP would launch an intensive agitation against it.
Prasad claims Gandhi disqualification not linked to Adani-Hindenburg row
On Saturday, Gandhi claimed he was disqualified from the Parliament because PM Narendra Modi was scared of his next speech in the Lok Sabha. The Congress leader earlier raked up the Adani Group-Hindenburg Research row in Lok Sabha, accusing the BJP and Modi of being biased in the matter. Reacting to this, Prasad said Gandhi's disqualification had nothing to do with the Adani issue.
Congress's reaction after Gandhi's disqualification
On Friday, the grand old party also organized a nationwide movement against Gandhi's disqualification from the Lok Sabha, stating that the Centre moved quickly to "gag" him. The party also alleged that the BJP-led central government was actively working against opposition unity. Opposition leaders also reacted sharply to the Lok Sabha Secretariat's order disqualifying Gandhi.
2019 defamation case against Gandhi
In 2019, attacking PM Modi, who was running for a second prime ministerial term at the time, Gandhi said in Karnataka's Kolar district, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi... How come all the thieves have Modi as a common surname?" Purnesh Modi, a BJP legislator from Surat (West), took offense and filed a complaint, accusing the Congress leader of defaming the entire Modi community.