Rahul Gandhi, Congress MP from Wayanad, Kerala, has been disqualified as a lawmaker from the date of his conviction by a Surat court in the criminal defamation case on March 23 over his ‘Modi surname’ remark.
Based on the Surat court order, the Lok Sabha Secretariat has disqualified the Congress leader and announced his constituency vacant. The Election Commission can now declare a special election for the seat.
Gandhi “stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha”, a notification issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat on Friday read.
Following his disqualification, Rahul is set to lose the perks and privileges of a Member of Parliament, apart from losing his seat in the Lower House. The Congress leader will get a month to vacate his official residence at 12 Tuglaq Road in New Delhi.
Besides his accommodation, Rahul will also no longer be entitled to a range of perks all Members of Parliament enjoy. This includes a salary of Rs 1,00,000 and a constituency allowance of Rs 70,000 per month. Every MP is also entitled to an office expense allowance of Rs 60,000 per month, including secretarial assistance of Rs 40,000.
Besides these, Rahul will also lose travelling allowances which include one free non-transferable first class AC or Executive class of any train pass and one First class and one Second class fare, one and one-fourth airfare of the airlines in which the member travels, and an allowance of Rs 16 per km for road travel.
As an MP, Rahul is also entitled to a facility to avail 34 single air journeys during a year with spouse or any number of companions or relatives. The spouse/companion can travel alone eight times in a year to meet the member. Any journey performed by the spouse, companions or relatives shall be added in computing the ceiling of 34 air journeys. Rules also allow an MP to avail free travel accommodation.
Rahul is also set to lose the three telephone connections he is entitled to as an MP. He is allowed a total of 1,50,000 free calls in a year through these three connections collectively. AN MP is also entitled to free water and electricity up to 4,000 kilolitres and 50,000 units, respectively.
Besides these, Rahul is also entitled to avail medical facilities, an advance on purchase of conveyance which can be repaid in 60 equal EMIs.
Questioning the legality of Rahul’s disqualification, the president of the Congress party Mallikarjun Kharge said that they (BJP) tried all ways to disqualify him. “They don’t want to keep those who are speaking the truth but we will continue to speak the truth. We’ll continue to demand JPC, If needed, we’ll go to jail to save democracy,” Kharge told ANI.
Rahul Gandhi attended Lok Sabha on Friday briefly and left after the House was adjourned for an hour soon after it convened for the day.