Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is back in Parliament. His MP was reinstated after the Supreme Court suspended sentence in the defamation case. Rahul returned to Parliament after 137 days. In March this year, Rahul was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment in a defamation case. Following this conviction, his membership was revoked.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi regained his Lok Sabha membership. After the Supreme Court suspended the sentence, the Lok Sabha secretariat issued a notification for reinstatement of membership on Monday.
Rahul Gandhi’s membership had been cancelled on March 24. He was found guilty of defamation in the “Modi surname” case by the Surat court. He was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. By law, the membership of a people’s representative is cancelled if the sentence is two years or more.
Rahul Gandhi was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019 for the Wayanad seat in Kerala. On April 13, 2019, Rahul made controversial remarks about Modi’s surname at a rally in Karnataka. He had said, “Why is Modi the surname of all thieves? On March 23, on the same subject, he was found guilty of defamation and sentenced to two years. His membership was subsequently cancelled.
Rahul Gandhi’s return comes at a time when a no-confidence motion has been tabled against the Modi government. Discussion of the no-confidence motion will begin on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will respond to the motion on August 10. This is the second no-confidence motion against the Modi government. In July 2018, a no-confidence motion had already been tabled. At the time, during the discussion, Rahul Gandhi had done something that was mentioned in the discussion.
Wink to Scindia, hug to Modi
In July 2018, during the discussion on the no-confidence motion, Rahul made a speech. The speech was widely applauded. But after the speech, Rahul suddenly walked over to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seat and hugged him.
Rahul said, “You can abuse me in different ways, but I don’t even have that much anger or hatred against you. I’m Congress. And that feeling is what made this country. I’m going to extract that feeling from each and every one of you. And I will turn you all into Congress.
After finishing his speech, Rahul Gandhi approached Prime Minister Modi’s headquarters and embraced them. Afterwards, Rahul returned to his seat and winked at Jyotiraditya Scindia, seated next to him. At the time, Scindia was a Congressman.
The next day, Prime Minister Modi replied, “The whole country watched the eye game on TV. How do eyes open? How do eyes close? Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi said, in a mocking tone: “You’re famous and we’re working people. How can we make eye contact?
Your government is a government of suits and boots
In April 2015, during a speech in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi had referred to the Modi government as a “government of suits-boots”.
He had said, “Your government ignores the plight of farmers. And the voice of the workers is not heard. Your government is the government of industrialists. They all know it. You know it too. So do we. Your government is the government of big business. There’s a government of suits. We understand that.
Membership gone after two years of punishment
On April 13, 2019, at an election rally in Karnataka, Rahul had made controversial remarks about Modi’s surname. He had said, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi […] Why do they all have a common surname? Why is the last name of all the thieves Modi?
In this case, on March 23, while announcing the sentence, the Surat court said, “The gravity of this crime also increases because this speech was delivered by a Member of Parliament, which has a profound impact on the public.”
The court had said, “If the sentence is less severe, it will send the wrong message to the public. Moreover, the objective of defamation will not be achieved and anyone can easily insult anyone.
The court sentenced Rahul to two years. After that, his membership was cancelled. Under the Representation of the People Act 1951, if an MP or Member of Parliament is sentenced to a term of two years or more,