Indian American lawmaker tweets in support of Rahul Gandhi: 'deep betrayal of…'

Mar 24, 2023 10:04 PM IST

Lok Sabha Secretariat issued a notification that Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification was effective from March 23, the same day a lower court in Gujarat had found him guilty of making a disparaging remark over Modi’s surname.

India American lawmaker Ro Khanna on Friday termed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as a member of Parliament a “deep betrayal of Gandhian philosophy and India’s deepest values” as he called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi “to reverse this decision.” Rahul Gandhi lost his Lok Sabha seat after he was convicted by a lower court in a criminal defamation case and sentenced two years in jail. The disqualification will bar the Congress leader from contesting polls for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction and sentence. (Also Read | Congress points to 'sudden change of tactics' on Rahul Gandhi, Kejriwal retweets)

Indian American lawmaker Ro Khanna (Left) and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Indian American lawmaker Ro Khanna (Left) and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

“The expulsion of Rahul Gandhi from parliament is a deep betrayal of Gandhian philosophy and India’s deepest values. This is not what my grandfather sacrificed years in jail for,” Ro Khanna, a lawyer and US House representative, said in a tweet.

“@narendramodi you have the power to reverse this decision for the sake of Indian democracy,” he added.

Khanna is also the new co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

Kanchan Gupta, senior adviser to ministry of information and broadcasting, responded to Khanna's tweet saying the prime minister is not vested with extra-judicial powers to override laws and that the government had nothing to do with Gandhi's disqualification from Lok Sabha.

“Disqualification (NOT expulsion) of Rahul Gandhi from Parliament follows a court judgement and is mandated by Constitution of India and RPA, the Act under which elections are held,” Gupta tweeted.

"Much as Ro Khanna may believe India is a tinpot autocracy, it is not. PM is not vested with extra-judicial powers to override laws. India is a democracy where the Constitution is supreme and the law is the same for everybody. That is what your grandfather fought for, Mr Khanna," he added. (Also Read | Shashi Tharoor finds irony in Rahul Gandhi saga: ‘BJP govt decided to reveal…’)

Rahul Gandhi will have to move an appellate court for relief and subsequently to the Lok Sabha Secretariat to seek restoration of his status as an MP after getting a favourable judicial order in the defamation case.

In his first reaction after disqualification, Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said,"I am fighting for the voice of India. I am ready to pay any price."

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