Rahul Gandhi with sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, representational image
On Thursday, Congress leader Digvijay Singh expressed his gratitude to the German Foreign Ministry in a tone and manner that suggested they had declared political support for Rahul Gandhi in the next elections.
“Thank you Germany Foreign Affairs Ministry and Richard Walker for taking note of how the Democracy is being compromised in India through the persecution of Rahul Gandhi,” the Congress leader wrote in a tweet.
Other Congress leaders and the Gandhi family loyalists also were excited that the German Foreign Ministry has given a statement on the issue.
The Congress leaders and the Gandhi family loyalists presented it as if the German government is going to launch a campaign for Rahul Gandhi.
But there is an issue. The German Foreign Ministry noted, “To our knowledge, Mr Gandhi is in a position to appeal the verdict. it will soon become clear if the appeal will stand and whether the suspension of his parliamentary mandate has any basis. We expect that the standards of judicial independence and fundamental democratic principles will equally apply to the proceeding against Rahul Gandhi.”
Point to be noted here, Rahul Gandhi has not appealed against his verdict yet, even a week after his conviction and automatic disqualification under the law that was put into place when his own great grandfather was the Prime Minister and ordnance to change it was torn away by Rahul Gandhi himself in 2013 to announce his grand entry in active politics.
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified under section 8(3) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, which states that any MP or MLA convicted of any offence and sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two years shall be disqualified from the date of conviction.
The disqualification becomes valid from the day of conviction. Rahul Gandhi is entitled to appeal against the verdict of the Surat district Court, which, for some strange reason, he hasn’t done yet.
What is going on in the Congress party?
There is some strange political drama underway, judging from the manner in which the Congress party and its senior leaders are reacting to the issue of Rahul Gandhi’s conviction and disqualification. They have displayed a lot of outrage and anger before the media, using generic lines like ‘death of democracy’, ‘Modi’s conspiracy’ etc.
But despite the party having some of the biggest lawyers in the country in its cadre, the appeal against Rahul Gandhi’s conviction hasn’t been filed yet.
Also, Rahul Gandhi is not even the president of the Congress party. He is just one of the 52 MPs, it is not understood why the disqualification of 1 of the MPs of a party is being hailed as the ‘death of democracy’, because Rahul Gandhi is neither BJP’s main opponent nor a direct challenger to Modi’s PM post. Congress doesn’t even have enough MPs in Lok Sabha to be called the main opposition party.
Just months ago, another MP from another party (NCP), Md Faizal from Lakshadweep was disqualified after a conviction in an attempt to murder case. Since then, he has appealed against the conviction and the Kerala HC had stayed the conviction. Following this, as per legal procedure, his parliamentary membership has been restored.
It is weird why Congress refuses to follow the law of the land, but excepts Rahul Gandhi to be anointed as the PM of India, even going to the extent of begging for foreign intervention.
The law of the land is equal for all. it cannot be different for the Lakshadweep MP and Wayanad MP. If Rahul Gandhi appeals, and the judiciary sees merit in his appeal, maybe his conviction will be stayed and eventually, his membership of the Lok Sabha will be restored. But without doing that, it is strange how the Congress party’s senior leaders are just desperately busy using the disqualification to gain media attention and gather political support. It is as if some people in the party WANT Rahul Gandhi to stay disqualified.
Is Rahul being sacrificed at the political altar of the Congress so that another heir can be popped up? Time will tell.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by Coverpage staff. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Coverpage’s editorial stance.