Gandhi was convicted on March of a case filed by a member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in Gujarat, a western state. The lawmaker had accused Gandhi of making comments in 2019 that were deemed offensive to the Prime Minister NarendraModi as well as others who share the same name.
In an election speech, Gandhi asked, “Why do all thieves have Modi as their surname?” He was referring to the two fugitive fugitives, both with Modi’s last name.
Gandhi, 53, a member of a family that has produced three Indian prime ministers, had been sentenced to two-years’ imprisonment, but his jail term was suspended and he received bail.
He was also disqualified from being a member of parliament, as lawmakers who are sentenced to prison terms of at least two years automatically lose their seats.
The lower house of parliament should now officially reinstate Gandhi after the Supreme Court’s decision.
The Supreme Court heard the appeal after lower courts in Gujarat and the High Court, where the BJP is currently in power, rejected Gandhi’s appeals to suspend the conviction.
Gandhi also wants to reverse the conviction. This challenge is still pending before the lower court of Gujarat.
Come what may, I will continue to do my duty. Gandhi in a post made on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) said, “Protect the idea of India.” This was his first comment since the court’s ruling.
Truth will prevail, “if not today, then tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then the following day.” “My path is clear, no matter what happens,” he told reporters later at a news conference. He did not answer any questions.
Justice B.R. Gavai stated that the lower court did not give any reason for imposing the maximum two-year sentence, leading to Gandhi’s exclusion from parliament.
Gavai said that while Gandhi’s remarks about Modi “were not in good taste”, the conviction did not punish Gandhi alone, but also the voters who elected him to be their representative, Gavai added. He was the head of a three-judge bench which suspended the conviction.
Congress members celebrated, shouted, waved party flags, and lit firecrackers in New Delhi.
As he and his sister Priyanka visited the party’s office, Gandhi waved at the members who were celebrating. He had to leave his official residence after his disqualification to move in with Sonia Gandhi.
Adhir Ranjan, the leader of the Congress in the lower chamber of Parliament, and other Congress leaders said they met with the speaker to ask for Gandhi’s reinstatement so that he could take part in the no-trust vote the opposition parties had moved against Modi’s government.
Chowdhury, a reporter, said: “Rahul has been relieved of the false accusations that were made against Him.” This is the triumph of truth…it’ll cost Modi heavily.”
Gandhi’s disqualification was the only second ever in history. It came a year before parliamentary elections and dealt a serious blow to the opposition parties.
The opposition formed an alliance of 26 parties, called “INDIA”, (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance), to take on the BJP jointly in 2024.
The alliance has also filed a motion of no-trust against Modi’s government for what they claim is its failure to address ethnic conflicts in northeastern Manipur, in which at minimum 180 people have died since May 3.
Modi will be expected to respond to the motion on August 10th before it goes to a vote.
Gandhi will be the main speaker at this debate, if he’s reinstated as expected.
The BJP enjoys a large majority in the Parliament, and this vote does not pose a threat to its stability. It is viewed as a chance for the opposition, however, to score some political points.