A senior BJP leader and MP from Karnataka has alleged there's a conspiracy within the Congress to weaken, mislead and make Rahul Gandhi a "sacrificial goat".
BJP MP Lahar Singh Siroya indicated Mr Gandhi's advisers are working against his interests amid the controversy over his conviction in a defamation case and disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
"I find it quite surprising to see what the people who are advising Rahul Gandhi want him to do. The understanding I get from looking at people around him is that Rahul Gandhi is a person with a clean heart. His advisers are misleading him," Mr Siroya told NDTV. He denied allegations the BJP was being vicious against Mr Gandhi.
"We have been accused of being very aggressive towards Rahul Gandhi. It's nothing like that. In fact we hope he becomes MP, comes back prepared for debates in parliament," the BJP leader said.
He narrated how Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister and grandmother of Rahul Gandhi, immediately appealed in the Allahabad High Court when it disqualified her as an MP and the court stayed her disqualification.
"... Indira ji then went to the Supreme Court. I don't want to get into what happened at the Supreme Court. That's a different story altogether. But she managed to remain MP and went on to become Prime Minister," Mr Siroya said.
"Today Rahul Gandhi is saying he has no home, he will vacate his bungalow. Why is he saying all this? When Indira ji lost in 1977, and she was not MP in 1978, she requested (former Prime Minister) Morarji Desai for accommodation. He immediately allowed her request and gave her one at 12 Willingdon Crescent.
"As an ex MP, Rahul Gandhi could have explored other ways. But instead of making him ask for an extension, or take steps to ensure his disqualification is reversed, his advisers are telling him to go to a higher court. What is Congress trying to prove by making Rahul Gandhi a sacrificial goat? The Congress had the G-23 problem, many top leaders have quit the party, what are the party's advisers trying to do, how much lower they want to drag the party?" Mr Siroya said, referring to the group of 23 Congress leaders who were upset with the party.