NEW DELHI: Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday accused the Centre of double standards, saying while it disqualified Rahul Gandhi with lightning speed, a Gujarat MP who was convicted in a criminal case did not face the same action.
Kharge was referring to the BJP’s Amreli MP Naranbhai Bhikhabhai Kachhadia, who was awarded a three-year jail term by a court. Kachhadia’s conviction was later quashed by the Supreme Court.
Gandhi was convicted by a lower court in Gujarat’s Surat and sentenced to prison for two years on March 23 for a speech in which he linked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s last name with two fugitive businessmen, remarking how the “thieves” shared the same last name.
A day later, he was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha.
Kharge said the Gujarat MP was allowed to attend the Parliament but a person who speaks the truth has been kept out of Parliament.
“The height of the Modi government’s hypocrisy and double standards a BJP MP from Gujarat is awarded a three-year imprisonment by a local court, sessions court and high court but there was no disqualification till 16 days.
“But Rahul Gandhi was disqualified with lightning speed,” Kharge said in a tweet in Hindi.
He said one can see who is getting relief and who is getting punished under the Modi regime.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has also written to Speaker Om Birla seeking a discussion on Gandhi’s disqualification.
A sessions court in Surat on April 3 granted bail to Gandhi and will hear on April 13 his plea for a stay of his conviction in the 2019 criminal defamation case.