‘In 2013, Rahul Gandhi backed disqualification soon after conviction’
The issue of the disqualification of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha rocked the State Assembly today, leading the Speaker to adjourn the House twice, besides marshalling out three MLAs.
GUWAHATI: The issue of the disqualification of Congress MP Rahul Gandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha rocked the State Assembly today, leading the Speaker to adjourn the House twice, besides marshalling out three MLAs.
Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia moved an adjournment motion in the House, demanding the State Assembly take a resolution requesting the President of India to stop what they called the ‘out of law’ procedure with which the Lok Sabha disqualified Rahul Gandhi as MP. Saikia said the resolution is to protect the Constitution and democracy in the country.
Responding to the adjournment motion, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “There is a standing Supreme Court verdict that if a court convicts a parliamentarian for two years or more, the Parliament should disqualify the member concerned with immediate effect. On September 28, 2013, Rahul Gandhi openly backed this stand of the apex court. If the Parliament takes action as per a stand taken by none other than Rahul Gandhi, what makes the Congress oppose it?”
The Chief Minister said, “The then UPA Government filed a review petition challenging the Supreme Court’s order of immediate dismissal of parliamentarians soon after their conviction. In its review petition, the then UPA Government prayed to the apex court to give at least three months’ time for the disqualification of any parliamentarian after conviction. However, the Supreme Court dismissed the review petition after an open hearing.”
The Chief Minister said, “On September 24, 2013, the UPA Government under Manmohan Singh then issued an Ordinance not to disqualify any parliamentarian at once soon after conviction and sent it to the President of India for his assent. However, on September 28, 2013, Rahul Gandhi called a media conference and tore a copy of the Ordinance in support of the Supreme Court’s verdict. At that time, the then-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on a foreign tour. After Rahul Gandhi took that stand, the UPA Cabinet withdrew the Ordinance on October 2, 2013.”
The Chief Minister said, “In such a ground reality, what is the rationale behind the Congress blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Lok Sabha Secretariat for the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi soon after his conviction?”
The Chief Minister said, “How come this House discusses an order of the Supreme Court of India or an order from a Surat Court in Gujarat? Apart from this, the issue of Rahul Gandhi has nothing to do with the people of Assam. Why should this House discuss the matter and take a resolution? If they have anything to say, let them say it in the upper court. We cannot challenge the order of the Supreme Court of India from this House.”
Speaker Biswajit Daimary rejected the adjournment motion, and that led the Congress and the AIUDF members to stage a walkout.
The Congress’ view is that the Supreme Court’s verdict was in connection with a criminal case, and on the contrary, the conviction of Rahul Gandhi was in a defamation case. They said that the law should not be interpreted wrongly to victimize the opposition. The Congress said that it smacked of a conspiracy in the promptness of the conviction of Rahul Gandhi and his immediate disqualification as an MP.
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