On Wednesday, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma criticized the Congress for their ongoing protests against the conviction and disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha by a Surat court. Sarma stated that the trend the Congress was setting with its protests was not good for democracy.
During a speech at the state Assembly on Wednesday, Sarma took a dig at Rahul, stating that BJP MLAs would never wear black clothes and demonstrate if a court convicts him in a case. Instead, they might challenge the verdict by moving to a higher court, but they would never defy the judiciary.
He also made a dig at Rahul, stating that no one can cast doubt on the country’s judicial system if a particular judgment goes against them. Sarma emphasized the need to respect the judiciary and not to defy it, even if one disagrees with a verdict. He encouraged the Congress to explore all legal avenues open to them and approach a higher court against the Surat court verdict.
Sarma pointed out that court judgments may go in one’s favor or against them and that launching protests against a particular judgment is not justifiable. He further criticized the Congress for opposing Rahul’s immediate disqualification from Parliament, stating that it could be harmful to democracy.
Sarma reminded the Congress that it was the previous UPA government that went back on its decision to bring an Ordinance against the immediate disqualification of MPs and MLAs after Rahul voiced his opposition to the move.
Sarma also criticized Rahul’s remark made during a public meeting at Kolar, Karnataka, in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, stating that it was against an entire community. He reminded the Congress that during the court hearing, Rahul Gandhi was given several opportunities to retract his statement and apologize, but he refused to do so, prompting the court to rule against him.
The Surat court convicted Rahul Gandhi of criminal defamation over his remark using the surname ‘Modi’ and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment. However, the sentence was later suspended for a period of 30 days during which he can challenge his conviction in a higher court.
As per a Supreme Court ruling in 2013, Rahul was disqualified as an MP on March 24, since any MP or MLA stands to be disqualified automatically if convicted and sentenced to two years or more. The Congress had alleged that Rahul was stripped off his status of MP for raising the Adani issue in Parliament, but Sarma stated that Rahul’s disqualification was due to his conviction and not any other reason.