Guwahati, March 24: Opposition parties in Assam on Friday slammed the move to disqualify Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from Lok Sabha in the wake of a lower court convicting him in a defamation case.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president Bhupen Kumar Borah condemned Gandhi’s disqualification as MP in the strongest possible term and termed the government’s move as “intolerant and unconstitutional”, especially after the same court had given him 30 days’ time to appeal against the verdict in a higher court.”
“This is an offensive move before allowing Rahul Gandhi to carry out legal proceedings against the verdict. It is a conspiracy on the part of the BJP-led government to silence the voice of Rahul Gandhi who has been vocal, both within and outside Parliament, against the government’s policies,” Borah reacted.
The Assam PCC leader further claimed that the immense support for Gandhi during the “Bharat Jodo Yatra”, especially by 28 small and big political parties had made the BJP uneasy and apprehensive, which has now triggered this new controversy to keep him away from Parliament.
“However, we will now reach out to the people of the country and launch a massive democratic agitation to oust BJP from power,” Borah asserted.
In a tweet later, the Assam Congress posted, “BJP using every institution to strangulate democratic voices is a threat to the very existence of our Constitution. We as Congressmen stand united in support of our democracy, our leader Rahul Gandhi ji…”.
Congress MLAs led by CLP leader Debabrata Saikia and deputy CLP leader Rakibul Hussain organised a “solidarity march” on the Assam Legislative Assembly premises here on Friday, in protest against Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha, while pledging a united stand of solidarity with their leader.
The disqualification will bar Gandhi from contesting polls for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction and sentence.
A court in Surat had sentenced Gandhi on Thursday to two years in jail for allegedly defaming the Prime Minister.
The case was initiated on the basis of a complaint by a BJP MLA, for his (Gandhi’s) alleged remark about three years back, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?”
On the other hand, Assam Trinamool Congress president and former Congress leader Ripun Bora, while slamming the “undemocratic” move, said, “The BJP has once again shown that it wants to finish off the Opposition and the voices of the Opposition leaders. However, the people of the country will never allow such a move to succeed.”
Besides, Sibsagar MLA and Raijor Dal chief Akhil Gogoi termed the disqualification of the Congress MP from the Lok Sabha as an aberration for democracy while Assam Jatiya Parishad president Lurinjyoti Gogoi, said the move to disqualify Gandhi as an MP only exposes the BJP-led government’s desperate attempts to muzzle the voices of Opposition leaders who speak against the government.
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