Lakshadweep MP's membership restored, Congress expects success in RaGa's case
The Lok Sabha Secretariat reinstated Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP from Lakshadweep PP Mohammad Faizal's membership on Wednesday, amid a major political row over Rahul Gandhi's suspension following his conviction in the 2019 defamation case. According to reports, Gandhi's legal team may use this example before a higher court to try to get his conviction overturned and his Lok Sabha membership restored.
Why does this story matter?
- Gandhi was found guilty of defamation by a judge in Surat, Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) stronghold, last week. The next day, he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
- The move sparked a new political row in the country, prompting strong reactions from Congress and other opposition parties.
- The latest development in the Lakshadeep MP's case, however, offers hope in Gandhi's case, too.
Congress will likely move Session's Court against Gandhi's conviction
Faizal was removed from the Lok Sabha in January after being convicted in a criminal case. His membership was reinstated on Wednesday, following the Kerala High Court's suspension of his sentence and his petition to the Supreme Court seeking restoration of his MP membership. Reportedly, Congress was waiting for a ruling in his case before appealing Gandhi's sentence to the Gujarat Sessions Court.
Relief for RaGa as ECI didn't announce Wayanad poll dates
Another relief for Gandhi is that, despite speculations, the Election Commission of India (ECI) did not announce election dates for the Wayanad constituency district, which became vacant following Gandhi's suspension, on Wednesday. According to NDTV, Gandhi's appeal against his sentence by a Gujarat court may be filed in a sessions court on Wednesday or Thursday. He has thirty days to submit an appeal.
What do we know about NCP leader Faizal's case?
Faizal, an MP of Sharad Pawar-led NCP, was sentenced to ten years in prison for an attempt to murder of former Union Minister PM Sayeed's relative during the 2009 elections, after which he was disqualified from Parliament. The Kerala High Court, however, stayed the sentence in January. Soon, he challenged the delay in restoring his membership in Supreme Court.
What is 2019 defamation case against Gandhi?
In 2019, while attacking PM Modi, who was running for a second prime ministerial term, 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.