Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal on Tuesday took a swipe at the government over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi being asked to vacate his official bungalow, calling it “petty politics of petty men”.
Gandhi was on Monday asked to vacate the government bungalow allotted to him by April 22 following his disqualification as a member of Lok Sabha after his conviction in a defamation case last week.
The Housing Committee of the Lok Sabha took the decision following which the secretariat of the House wrote to the former Congress president, a Z-plus protectee who has been living in the 12, Tughlaq Lane bungalow since 2005.
Reacting to the development, Sibal tweeted, “Rahul asked to vacate bungalow. Their conscience has gone on a vacation. Petty politics of petty men.” Sibal, who was a Union minister during the UPA 1 and 2 regimes, quit the Congress in May last year and was elected to the Rajya Sabha as an independent member with the Samajwadi Party’s support.
Sibal recently floated a non-electoral platform ‘Insaaf’ aimed at fighting the alleged injustice prevailing in the country.
Meanwhile, the United States is watching the court case of Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, an official has said while observing that Washington continues to engage with India on the shared commitment towards democratic principles and the protection of human rights, including freedom of expression.
Gandhi was on March 23 sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “why all thieves have Modi surname” remark. A day later, he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction in the case.
“Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy. We are watching Mr Gandhi’s case in Indian courts and we engage with the Government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including freedom of expression,” the State Department’s Deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters at a news conference on Monday.
“In our engagements with our Indian partners, we continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights, including freedom of expression, as a key to strengthening both our democracies,” he said.
Responding to a question, Patel said it is normal and standard for the United States to engage with members of opposition parties in any country where it has bilateral relationships.
Opposition parties in India stepped up their offensive against the Narendra Modi government and observed a “black day for democracy” on Monday, three days after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
The BJP condemned the ruckus created by the Opposition in Parliament and accused the Congress of resorting to “low-level politics” in its bid to justify Gandhi’s remarks against the OBC community.