Kharge calls Oppn meet over Surat court order against Rahul Gandhi
The Congress has also announced that Opposition parties will carry out a solidarity walk to Vijay Chowk in Delhi tomorrow.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday has called MPs from all Opposition parties for a meeting over Surat court's verdict against Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case. Rajya Sabha MP Jairam Ramesh has termed the recent judgement an example of dirty politics by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government and said that they will fight it legally and politically. He also announced that Opposition parties will carry out a solidarity walk to Vijay Chowk in Delhi tomorrow to mark their protest.
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This comes after the Surat court sentenced the Congress MP to a two-year jail term in a criminal defamation case over a comment he made ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, the verdict has been suspended for 30 days, on request of his legal team, to give him a chance to appeal the guilty verdict.
According to Ramesh, a meeting will also be held tomorrow evening between the Congress president and party leaders over programs that are to be held in different states against the verdict. The party has also sought time from President Droupadi Murmu to meet with her.
Senior Congress leader KC Venugopal called the judgement ‘unfortunate’ and alleged that the Centre had been stopping Gandhi from the day he raised the Adani-Hindenburg issue. He also added that the country's environment is such that all Opposition parties are ‘getting suppressed’.
Convicting the Congress MP under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (defamation), the court observed in its judgement that the seriousness of his crime increased because a speech delivered by a member of Parliament has a 'very wide impact on the public'.
A row has erupted since the verdict came, with BJP alleging that whatever Rahul Gandhi says nowadays is ‘dangerous’ for his party and also for the country. As a counterattack, Congress alleged that the BJP-led Centre wants to get Gandhi removed from Lok Sabha through disqualification as he speaks the truth and exposes it.