At 'satyagraha' for Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi invokes Lord Ram to counter BJP's 'dynastic politics' barbs

By, New Delhi
Mar 26, 2023 12:27 PM IST

The Congress is holding a day-long 'satyagraha' against Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Lok Sabha after his conviction in a 2019 defamation case.

Attacking the Narendra Modi government over the termination of Rahul Gandhi's Lok Sabha membership, his sister and fellow Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday sought to counter the BJP's allegations of dynastic politics against the Gandhi family and the Congress, asking if the ruling party would say the same thing about Lord Ram, as he, too, came from a dynasty.

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Congress' Satyagraha (ANI)
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Congress' Satyagraha (ANI)

Also Read: Rahul Gandhi says he is 'Dis'Qualified MP' in his Twitter bio

“They (the BJP) accuse us of dynasticism…then what was Lord Ram? He was exiled and (yet) he fulfilled his responsibilities towards his family and motherland. Was this dynasticism? Did the Pandavas indulge in dynasticism?” asked Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

She further asked if the Gandhis should be ‘ashamed’ that members of their family sacrificed lives for the country. “The blood of our martyred family members is in our country's soil. Their blood has nurtured our nation's democracy ,” the Congress general secretary remarked.

She also slammed the BJP for its depiction of his brother as ‘Pappu’ (stupid/incompetent), saying Rahul Gandhi was branded as a ‘fool’ despite completing his education from two top universities: Harvard and Cambridge. The crowds at his recently-concluded Bharat Jodo Yatra, said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, made the saffron party realise he is, in fact, not a ‘Pappu,’ and this scared the government into disqualifying him.

Her comments came during the party's day-long satyagraha, which is taking place at Mahatma Gandhi's memorial Rajghat in the national capital, despite not being approved by the police.

Why was Rahul Gandhi disqualified?

On Friday, the Lok Sabha secretariat dismissed the membership of the now former Member of Parliament (MP) from Kerala's Wayanad. This came a day after he was convicted by a court in Gujarat's Surat in a defamation case filed by Purnesh Modi, a BJP MLA from that state. In 2019, Modi had filed a defamation case against Gandhi, accusing the latter of defaming the entire Modi community through his statement asking ‘why all thieves have Modi surname.’

According to a July 2013 Supreme Court ruling, MPs/MLAs are to be disqualified immediately from Parliament/state assemblies upon conviction in a criminal case, and if they are handed a jail term of at least 2 years. In September that year, however, Rahul tore apart an ordinance that was to be introduced by his party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre, a legislation that would have allowed convicted lawmakers/legislators to retain their seats for 3 months from the date of conviction.

In his case, Rahul Gandhi was handed the maximum 2-year prison term, though he was granted bail immediately, and his sentence suspended for a month so that he can approach a higher court against his conviction.

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