In his first reaction after being disqualified from the Lok Sabha on Friday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he is fighting for the voice of India and “ready to pay any price”.
“I am fighting for the voice of India. I am ready to pay any price,” Gandhi tweeted in Hindi. Announcing his disqualification, the Lok Sabha Secretariat in a notification said that it was effective from March 23, the day of his conviction.
On Thursday, a Surat magistrate’s court jailed him for two years in a defamation case linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname.
Gandhi was found guilty of defamation. He had allegedly said in 2019: “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”
However, he was granted bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days to let him appeal the decision.
The case was filed on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.
Modi alleged that the controversial comment was made at a rally at Kolar in Karnataka, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He said the remark defamed the entire Modi community.
Mamata Banerjee backs Rahul Gandhi
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee finally broke her silence and came out in support of Gandhi. Calling the disqualification as “PM Modi’s New India”, Banerjee alleged that Opposition leaders have become “the prime target of the BJP”.
“In PM Modi’s New India, Opposition leaders have become the prime target of BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the cabinet, Opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches. Today, we have witnessed a new low for our constitutional democracy,” the Trinamool Congress chief tweeted.