By Harihar Swarup
If not people, BJP will make Rahul Gandhi a leader by persecuting him. History has shown whenever a leader is persecuted as Rahul Gandhi is being done, he gets people’s sympathy. Wayanad MP Rahul has lost his Lok Sabha seat after being convicted of a criminal defamation by a Surat court. What happens now— the best—and worst-scenarios for him will be of interest
Rahul Gandhi’s membership of Parliament has been cancelled following his conviction and sentencing by a local case in Surat on Thursday. A notification issued by the Lok Sabha secretariat on Friday said Rahul “stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction.
The Lok Sabha notification on disqualification is part of the procedure. In a note on October 13 2015, the Election Commission had asked chief secretaries to issue appropriate instructions to the department dealing with prosecutions to ensure of that cases of conviction of sitting MPs 0r MLAs were brought to the notice the Speaker or Chairman of the house, and to the Chief Elector Officer of the state along the order of convection within seven days of the order.
Is the authority of the Speaker final in this regard? The Supreme Court in its ruling in Lok Prahari vs Union of India (2018) clarified that a disqualification triggered by conviction will be reversed if the conviction is stayed by a court. “Once conviction has been stayed during the pendency of an appeal, the disqualification which operates as a consequence of the conviction can not take or remain in effect,” the ruling said.
The notification by the House Secretariat regarding will cease to be in effect if and when his
Development before Rahul Gandhi’s conviction is worth noting. The ongoing Parliament session is rife with political animosity, with the exception of a few pleasant moments. That is why, after the Indian short documentary The Elephant Whispers won an Oscar earlier this month, a brief discussion in the Rajya Sabha was cordial as all the members shared their pleasure at the Oscar award to the documentary.. Why can’t this be the case throughout the session? Can’t our lawmakers swear to discuss every issue openly? It goes without saying that every minute Rs 2.5 lakh is spent on Parliamentary proceedings, though the average daily spending of about 25% of nation’s population is less than Rs32. Essentially, our legislators are turning into Panchayats of the rich. Can’t our legislators show any respect for their largely poor constituents?
This question is more pertinent now that the current session is experiencing unprecedented uproar. Many opposition parties are working together to corner the government over the Adani Group issue. In Parliament, placard calling for a joint Parliament Committee (JPC) are being waved. State Legislatures, such as, the one in Bihar, are also affected by this trend. For five years, the Parliamentary procedure has been seriously eroded..
Those demanding a JPC want to keep Adani issue hot until the election. What will the benefits be, if any? Chowkidar chor hai was Rahul Gandhi’s campaign slogan in the last election. He continued to bring up the Rafale controversy at election rallies even after the Supreme Court rejected those charges. What came out of it? It is also important to note that the Securities and Exchange Board of India has started working on probe that the apex court directed it to conduct on Adani issue.
It has to be noted that while the opposition is launching a campaign against the Adani group and the investigative agencies, the ruling party is asking Rahul Gandhi to apologize for what he said in London. The ruling coalition’s members are resolute about not allowing the House to function until he apologise. Meanwhile, the Congress general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal moved a notice of breach of privilege against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Rajya Sabha, demonstrating that the Congress will continue its offensive.
Whatever Rahul Gandhi said in London may not have been “treason”, but it would have been better if he had been more careful with his words. He has set a record by walking 4,800-plus kilometres in 136 days non-stop. No politician has ever come to the streets with the determination of such a long march. This had a significant impact on his image. After that, people began to take him seriously. But his comments in London have dented his hard-won reputation.
Two of his statements raise eyebrows even during the recent padyatra. In the first instance , while in Maharashtra, he mentioned Veer Savarkar and remarked, “Savarkar-ji wrote a letter to the British and said “Sir, I want to be your servant”. The Congress’ coalition partner in the state, Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, was taken aback. “Such utterances can cause a rift in Maha Vikas Aghadi, thus Rahul Gandhi should avoid such issues. We disagree with what he said about Savarkar,” Senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rout said while outlining his party’s stand.
A few days later, Rahul Gandhi again made headlines by saying “Our forces are being beaten by the Chinese army on LAC (Line of Actual Control), and Beijing is preparing for war”.
Not only his opponents but also allies are not always happy at his comments. No surprise Lalu Yadav’s son Tejashwi and Nitish Kumar, a key ally of the United Progressive Alliance in Bihar, have placed the onus on him to forge opposition unity and beat the BJP in the upcoming elections. These astute allies insist that the Congress should concentrate on the 262 seats in which it finished first or second in the last general election.
Allies should be given responsibility for the remaining seats. Regional parties strive to strength their positions in this political game of chess. Members of Trinamool Congress and the NCP were absent from the march, organized under the leadership of the Congress, from Parliament to Enforcement Directorate office. In such a case, the Congress must be more vigilant and 3
When dealing with the BJP, the Congress must remain cool, restrained and determined.. Rahul Gandhi would have to save himself from any unnecessary row. His followers have much higher expectations of him. (IPA Service)