Union parliamentary affairs minister also said that at least eight persons have been disqualified in the past 10-12 years
While the opposition parties made a hue and cry over the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha, the central government said that the former Congress president should have respected the law.
“The seat stands vacated,” Union Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi said. “Whatever happened to Rahul Gandhi is a common practice. In the last 10-12 years, at least eight people have been disqualified. One person resigned, while another died. I don’t understand why the opposition parties are making a hue and cry about it,” the Union minister said.
Incidentally, this is not the first time that a Member of Parliament has been disqualified following his conviction. In 2013, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh, Rasheed Masood, was disqualified following his conviction in an MBBS seat scam.
Union minister said that Gandhi has shown total disregard for the judiciary. Citing the observations of the Surat Court, which had sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail in a 2019 criminal defamation case filed against him for his comments on PM Narendra Modi’s surname, Joshi said, “He has been asked to apologise in writing and asked to be careful in the future. But he showed little respect to the court and went ahead and made comments.”
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma held Gandhi guilty under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code. However, the court granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days so that he could appeal to a higher court.
“The court also observed that, despite warnings, the Supreme Court had no effect on his public conduct and behaviours. Despite SC warnings, Rahul baba kept giving statements,” Joshi said, adding, “I think there are five to six cases against him for such irresponsible statements.”
“The court also asked him to apologise during the investigation, but he refused. If someone believes he is above the law, he must face the consequences,” Joshi added.
Among the elected representatives who have been disqualified following their conviction include Janata Dal (United) Lok Sabha MP Jagdish Sharma of Jharkhand. Sharma was disqualified in 2013 after being convicted for four years in the Fodder Scam case.
Former Union minister and former Bihar Chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav is one of the prominent names on the list. The RJD chief too was disqualified from Lok Sabha in 2013 after being convicted for five years in the Fodder Scam case.