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The German government has expressed its concern about the disqualification of Indian opposition Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, as a Lok Sabha MP, following his conviction in a defamation case. The spokesperson for the German foreign ministry stated that the government had “taken note of the verdict of first instance" against Rahul Gandhi and the “suspension of his parliamentary mandate". 

The spokesperson also said that the “standards of judicial independence and fundamental democratic principles" should apply to Gandhi’s case. The spokesperson’s remarks were beamed on public broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

“To our knowledge, Mr Gandhi is in a position to appeal the verdict. It will then become clear whether this verdict will stand and whether the suspension of his mandate has any basis," the spokesperson said.

“We expect that the standards of judicial independence and fundamental democratic principles will equally apply to the proceedings against Rahul Gandhi."

Congress MP Digvijaya Singh has thanked the German Foreign Affairs Ministry for "taking note of how democracy is being compromised in India through the persecution of Rahul Gandhi".

Gandhi was disqualified after being convicted in a case filed over his remarks about people with the surname Modi, which he made during an election campaign rally in Karnataka in 2019. The MP from Wayanad constituency in Kerala is currently free on bail. There was no immediate response from Indian officials.

Also Read: Shatrughan Sinha thanks PM Modi for Rahul Gandhi's disqualification

The German government’s comments came after the US State Department’s deputy spokesperson, Vedant Patel, had stated that the US was monitoring Gandhi’s case in Indian courts. When asked whether Gandhi’s expulsion from Parliament was consistent with democratic values, Patel stated that any democracy must uphold the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary. 

He also confirmed that the US is monitoring Rahul Gandhi's case in Indian courts and is working with the Indian government to promote democratic values, including the freedom of expression.

The US continues 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", Patel added.

Also Read: ‘Why so afraid, Mr Prime Minister?’ Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi on Adani again

Meanwhile, Congress in Meghalaya initiated the 'Jai Bharat Satyagraha' on March 29 as a form of protest against the disqualification of their leader Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha. AICC media coordinator Bobbeeta Sharma informed the press that the demonstration would continue until April 8. Sharma explained that during this period, a series of street corner meetings would be held.

Sharma stated that the Congress party was committed to preserving the democracy of the country and has accused the BJP-led government of being "willing to destroy democracy." She further stated that "Rahul Gandhi has been targeted because he questioned PM Modi ji about the Adani group. "

(With agency inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 30 Mar 2023, 10:23 AM IST
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