Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Friday that his duty remains to protect the idea of India. This comes after the Supreme Court stay on his conviction in the ‘Modi surname’ defamation case.
“Come what may, my duty remains the same. Protect the idea of India,” said Rahul Gandhi in a tweet.
Observing that no reasons were given by the trial judge for imposing the maximum punishment of two years in the case, the Supreme Court gave Rahul Gandhi a huge relief and stayed his conviction, which had cost him his Lok Sabha membership.
Noted lawyer and party leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, along with senior advocates Rajinder Cheema, Harin Raval, and advocates Tarannum Cheema, and Prasanna Advocates had appeared in the court for Rahul Gandhi.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as an MP in March this year. This followed a Surat court convicting him and sentencing him to two years in prison for a remark he made during an election rally in Karnataka in April 2019. Gandhi’s remark — “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” — was interpreted as an attempt to draw an implicit connection between fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A sessions court in Surat, in March this year, had dismissed Gandhi’s plea seeking suspension of his conviction by the magistrate’s court, stating that his disqualification will not result in an irreversible loss to him. Gandhi had been disqualified under a rule that bars convicted members of Parliament from holding membership of the Lok Sabha.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that the Supreme Court’s verdict staying the lower court’s order convicting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case will further strengthen the resolve of the opposition Indian National Development Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) to fight against the BJP-led NDA.
After the apex court verdict came in, Banerjee expressed her happiness over the development and also described it as the victory of the judiciary, in a tweet.
“I am happy with the news about the MP-ship of @RahulGandhi. This will further strengthen the resolve of the INDIA alliance to unitedly fight for our motherland and win. A victory of the judiciary!” she posted.
Banerjee has been critical of the Congress several times over the latter’s alliance with the CPI-M-led Left Front in the past. She even went ahead and said that if the Left Front state unit in West Bengal continues with its attack against her Trinamool, it will not be possible for her party to back the Congress party.
At the same time, Congress state president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury had made it clear that both the Trinamool Congress and the BJP are the opponents of the Congress in the context of West Bengal.
Meanwhile, according to political observers, by welcoming the apex court verdict in the Rahul Gandhi case, Mamata Banerjee has given a subtle message to develop a bigger anti-BJP alliance in the national perspective and end the enmity with the Congress in the state perspective.