“Losing whatsoever little trust left”: Anurag Thakur rails against Rahul Gandhi

26 March, 2023 | Pragati Singh

Rahul Gandhi National

"Rahul Gandhi is not the first to face disqualification. Wonder whether legal wizards of Congress have checked the rules.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur launched a scathing attack on Rahul Gandhi in a series of tweets on Saturday, claiming that gimmicks and cheap publicity were eroding the people’s trust in him. On Friday, the Congress leader was removed from the Lok Sabha. His removal from the Lower House came a day after his conviction in a criminal defamation case in 2019. The Surat court, which sentenced the Congress leader to two years in prison, later stayed the sentence for 30 days, giving him time to appeal to a higher court.

Accusing Rahul of ‘political immaturity’, Thakur said, “RG is a case of political immaturity, losing whatsoever little trust left, for gimmicks and cheap popularity.”

“Elected representatives automatically stand disqualified moment they are convicted by Hon. court to jail for two or more years. GOI and LS have no role to play. It can’t suspend or revoke disqualification,” the Union Sports minister said in another tweet.

Further weighing in on Rahul’s disqualification from the Lower House, which saw several Opposition break ranks to throw their weights behind him, Thakur posted, “Rahul Gandhi is not the first to face disqualification. Wonder whether legal wizards of Congress have checked the rules. Instead, they are brazenly defending their hatred for OBC, which caused his conviction thus showing utter disrespect towards judiciary and people.”

Citing a previous case to support his argument, the Union minister said in another tweet, “In 2013 Lily Thomas Vs Union of India case, SC set aside Section 8(4) of RP Act which once protected convicted legislators from disqualification on account of their pending appeal. As per judgment, disqualification is automatically effective from the date of conviction.”

“Constitution expressly prohibits Parliament to defer date from which a disqualification wud come into effect. LS Speaker is bound by the RP Act and SC judgment to issue membership termination order,” read another tweet by the minister.

The case that led to Rahul’s disqualification as an MP concerns an election rally in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, during which he made a remark using the surname “Modi.”

The Congress leader, who was elected to the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, was disqualified under Article 102 (1) (e) of the Constitution and Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act of 1951.

“How come all the thieves have Modi as their surname?” Rahul asked at a poll rally in Kolar, Karnataka.
Purnesh Modi, a former Gujarat BJP MLA, filed the criminal defamation case against Rahul.