The Congress has intensified its call to reinstate Rahul Gandhi as a member of Parliament after the Supreme Court stayed his conviction in a criminal defamation case. While it took less than 24 hours to notify Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the lower house when he was sentenced to two years in jail, the Lok Sabha secretariat is yet to issue a notification restoring Gandhi’s MP status after the apex court’s Friday order.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal said that Gandhi should be in Parliament on Monday as a “natural consequence” of the court order, asserting that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party cannot “drag its feet” anymore.
“Sh.@RahulGandhiji’s conviction was stayed on Friday. As a natural consequence, he should be in Parliament tomorrow. The BJP cannot drag it’s (sic) feet anymore, over 48 hours have passed since the Supreme Court verdict,” Venugopal posted on X, formerly Twitter.
“Any further delay in issuing the necessary notification will be going against the spirit of the SC order. As the SC rightly noted, his disqualification is not a personal matter but something that impacts the democratic rights of the people of Wayanad.”
Earlier today, Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut claimed the Union government was afraid of Rahul Gandhi and that is why the Congress leader is yet to be reinstated as Lok Sabha MP.
“The swiftness with which he was disqualified as MP is not being seen after the SC staying the conviction. Three days have passed but the Lok Sabha Speaker is yet to reinstate him,” Raut told reporters.
A copy of the Supreme Court order has been formally handed over to the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Saturday.
Chowdhury too conveyed his disappointment over the Lok Sabha Secretariat’s response to his request that Gandhi should be immediately reinstated, so that he can participate in the no-confidence motion against the Modi government, which begins on August 8.
“The speed with which he was disqualified, it is important to reinstate him with the same speed. I called up Speaker sahib last night and told him that I want to submit the court documents to you to facilitate Rahul Gandhiji’s return to the House. He then advised me to call him up this morning,” Chowdhury told reporters at a press conference.
A Lok Sabha official told HT that the process to reinstate Gandhi’s membership is likely to start on Monday.
The Congress party has called for a meeting of its Lok Sabha MPs in the party’s parliamentary office at 10:30am tomorrow.