Are Congress, Rahul Gandhi Above Law Of The Land: Centre On Conviction

Rahul Gandhi was convicted in a criminal defamation case and subsequently disqualified as MP

New Delhi:

Union minister Bhupender Yadav today hit out at the Congress for raising questions on a Gujarat court order convicting Rahul Gandhi in a criminal defamation case, asking if they consider themselves above the law of the land.

Mr Yadav, a prominent OBC face of BJP, noted that the court convicted Rahul Gandhi following due process of law but the Congress leader and his party are not able to accept the verdict due to their “arrogance”.

In the course of the trial of the 2019 defamation case in Surat, the court repeatedly gave opportunity to Mr Gandhi to understand and apologise for his remark, but he did not do so due to his arrogance, the BJP leader said.

“Are Congress party and Rahul Gandhi higher than the law of the country? Is it a national leader’s job to abuse and insult a surname of the OBC society?ย  the senior BJP leader asked at a press conference.

“I believe Congress party and Rahul Gandhi personally are guilty of hurling abuse at the entire OBC community in the country,” he said, adding, “Everybody should respect the court verdict”.

A court in Surat on Thursday sentenced Rahul Gandhi to two years in jail in a case filed against him over his remark, “How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?” The court granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court.

The Congress said the conviction of Rahul Gandhi was “erroneous and unsustainable” and will be challenged in a higher court.

“We believe that if you insult a particular community in such a manner, it is not Bharat Jodo (unite India) but Bharat Todo (divide India),” the BJP leader charged.

His words reflect his mindset about the OBC society and other smaller (lower caste) societies, he added.

Mr Yadav also slammed Mr Gandhi for his recent remarks in the UK on democracy in India and accused him of hurling abuses and telling lies.

The Congress leader has not just insulted a caste or a society with his remarks for which he has been convicted by the court, he has also “insulted” India, the Constitution of India and the democratic process in India, he charged.

“Rahul Gandhi keeps on abusing and lying. It has become a part of his habit. Levelling unfounded allegations against our country’s parliamentary traditions, debate and discussions proves that Rahul Gandhi is habitually committing such kind of offence,” he added.

Replying to questions, the BJP leader said freedom of speech doesn’t mean Rahul Gandhi can “abuse anyone and insult any society.” “Abusing an entire society is not freedom of speech. This is a misuse of freedom of speech,” he said.

Mr Yadav said everyone from the OBC society has the right to live with dignity, keep his surname and do his work.

“Abusing a surname is certainly an insult to crores of people engaged in uplifting the society. This is what Rahul Gandhi has done,”ย  he added.

The minister held opposition parties, “mainly Congress”, responsible for the logjam in Parliament and the passage of the Union Budget without any discussion.

“They come to attend the business advisory committee meeting but do not follow its decision,” he charged.

“Storming the well, sloganeering in the House and showing placards is an insult to Parliamentโ€ฆ Those insulting the Parliament are raising questions on its functioning going abroad. There is a clear difference in what they say and do,” the minister added.

On AAP national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal coming out in support of Rahul Gandhi, Mr Yadav said political leaders need to understand that no one has the right to insult any OBC community.

“Leaders should have control over their language. We should use all opportunities for healthy political discussions,” he added.

“There are legal processes and unbiased institutions to decide on it. I don’t want to comment on this,” he said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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