Bhubaneswar: Hours after senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was expelled from the Parliament following his conviction in a criminal defamation case, the Odisha Assembly witnessed an uproar on Friday as the Congress members stalled the proceedings of the House by creating a ruckus over the issue.
The House witnessed several adjournments as the Congress legislators protested Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification from the Lok Sabha. Later, the Speaker adjourned the House till Monday.
In the post-lunch session, the Congress MLAs stormed into the well and raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, terming Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as ‘murder of democracy’.
Speaking to mediapersons later, Congress legislative party leader Narasingha Mishra said that Rahul Gandhi has been made the victim of a pre-planned conspiracy.
“His disqualification is like murder of democracy. Without respecting the democratic norms and practices, Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified in a haste. The Congress will move the higher courts in this regard and the truth will prevail,” Mishra said.
On Friday morning, Rahul Gandhi was suspended from the Lok Sabha following his conviction in a criminal defamation case. The Lok Sabha Secretariat also declared his constituency in Kerala’s Wayanad as vacant.
According to the Representation of the People Act, a lawmaker sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more shall be disqualified “from the date of such conviction” and remain disqualified for another six years after serving prison time.
On Thursday, a court in Surat found Rahul Gandhi guilty and sentenced him to two years in prison in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname. The Congress leader, however, was granted bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days to allow him to appeal the Surat court verdict.
The case was filed against Rahul Gandhi by BJP MLA and ex-Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi for saying “how come all thieves have the common surname Modi” while campaigning in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.