Home/ News / India/  Opposition rallies around Rahul Gandhi as BJP backs 'lawful' Lok Sabha disqualification - 10 points

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha MP on Friday following his conviction in a 2019 defamation case. The Congress has said that it will fight the battle legally and politically, with Opposition leaders across the spectrum rallying in Gandhi's support. BJP leaders have stuck to the explanation that his disqualification was a result of a court order and not a political call.

Here's everything that happened today:

  1. Gandhi was handed a two year jail term on Thursday, followed by his disqualification from the Lower House of Parliament a day later. The move has several repercussions - from being barred from contesting elections for eight years to losing his official bungalow in Lutyens' Delhi.
  2. “I am fighting for the voice of India. I am ready to pay any price," Gandhi asserted after the disqualification - his only direct reaction to the developments. 
  3. With the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat in Kerala now vacant, the Election Commission can "technically" hold a bypoll to fill the seat as more than one year is left before the 2024 general elections.
  4. The Congress has insisted that it would file an appeal against the verdict. Top party leaders held a meeting on Friday evening to decide upon a strategy. The party has also made plans for agitation.
  5. Party MPs earlier staged a protest march till Vijay Chowk and several MPs were detained by the Delhi Police for violation of prohibitory orders and kept at the Kingsway Camp police station before being released in the evening.
  6. Congress workers led protests in various parts of India, burning effigies of PM Modi, throwing ink on BJP posters and more.
  7. Meanwhile in Wayanad, people from across all walks of life condemned the disqualification and termed the action against the senior Congress leader a move against democracy. They said that it would bring together all opposition parties to fight against fascism.
  8. Leaders of almost all opposition parties have rallied around Gandhi today. The list includes groups such as the TMC, AAP, Samajwadi Party, and BRS, which had earlier said they would maintain equal distance from both the BJP and the Congress.
  9. BJP leaders contends that there was a ‘conspiracy’ within the party with some people wishing to ‘get rid of Rahul Gandhi’. Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Anurag Thakur also suggested that this ‘conspiracy’ might be the reason why the party's leaders had so far refrained from appealing Gandhi's conviction.
  10. Beyond the Surat court verdict, it is pertinent to note that Gandhi also faces a long list of cases across India.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Updated: 24 Mar 2023, 11:07 PM IST
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