NEW DELHI, Aug 4 (PTI): Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Friday said while just 24 hours were taken to disqualify Rahul Gandhi from Lok Sabha after his conviction in a defamation case, it is to be seen how long will it take to reinstate him after the Supreme Court relief.
Addressing a press conference alongside Gandhi soon after the apex court stayed the conviction in a 2019 defamation case over his Modi surname remark, Kharge, “It is a day of happiness, democracy has won, Constitution has won, Satymeva Jayate.”
Welcoming the Supreme Court ruling, Kharge said the Constitution is alive and this is an example that one can get justice.
“This is the victory of the common people. This is not just Rahul Gandhi’s victory, this is the victory of all the people of the country, victory of democracy and of constitutional principles,” he said.
“The person who fights for truth, for the country’s interest, to strengthen the country, for the youth of the country, against rising prices, the person who fights and makes people aware, who walked 4,000 km from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and met various people, I think their prayers are with us and it is, therefore, victory of the people,” Kharge said.
“To disqualify him everything happened in 24 hours, now let us see in how many hours he is reinstated,” he said.
After being convicted and sentenced to two years in jail by a Gujarat court in the case, Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha member on March 23. He represented Wayanad (Kerala) in the Lower House of Parliament.
The Congress president said that while the Gujarat court was hundreds of kilometers away, still the government took not more than 24 hours to disqualify Gandhi. The Supreme Court, he pointed out, is just a few kilometers from Parliament.
Kharge said that in the heart of hearts the Modi government must be regretting what they did and why they did it.
The Supreme Court’s stay on Gandhi’s conviction, paves the way for revival of his Lok Sabha membership.
The Lok Sabha speaker can now revive his membership on his own or Gandhi, armed with the apex court order, can seek restoration of his status as an MP.
A three-judge bench of Justices B R Gavai, P S Narasimha and Sanjay Kumar said no reason was given by the trial court judge while convicting Gandhi except that he was admonished by the apex court in a contempt case.
The top court had closed the contempt proceedings against Gandhi for wrongly attributing to it his “chowkidar chor hai” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with the Rafale case, with a warning to be more careful in future after the senior Congress leader tendered an unconditional apology.
The term of the 17th Lok Sabha ends in May 2024.