The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today lashed out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, barely an hour after he claimed he was disqualified from the Parliament because Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scared of his next speech in the Lok Sabha.
"There's an allegation (on Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from the Lok Sabha after being sentenced in a 2019 defamation case) that he is being framed. It has nothing to do with the Adani-Hindenburg issue," former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, dismissing Mr Gandhi's suggestion that his questions on corruption allegations against the Adani group was the real reason he was disqualified.
Calling Rahul Gandhi's accusations 'fake' and 'baseless', Ravi Shankar Prasad said he, out of habit, tried to distract from the issue at hand, and made false remarks.
"Rahul Gandhi insulted people from marginalised communities. If he has the right to do that, the aggrieved also have the right to approach the court. The court asked if he would apologise and he refused. The verdict came after that," he said, adding that the Modi community was deeply pained at Mr Gandhi "calling them thieves".
Rahul Gandhi intentionally insulted Other Backward Classes (OBC) and the BJP condemns it, he said, informing that his party would launch an intensive agitation against Mr Gandhi for his remarks.
Mr Prasad further questioned why the Congress, which has an army of top lawyers, didn't go to the Surat sessions court for a stay.
"Why did they not go to the High Court or Supreme Court. In their party spokesperson Pawan Khera's case, they got a stay from the Supreme Court within an hour. Why were their lawyers silent on Rahul Gandhi's case. The BJP wants to raise this question," he said, accusing the grand old party of intentionally not asking for a stay in order to use this issue in the upcoming Karnataka assembly elections.
This is a carefully planned strategy, to make it look like Rahul Gandhi sacrificed his position, to benefit from it in Karnataka, Mr Prasad said.
The Minister pointed out that it isn't just Mr Gandhi who has been disqualified, and that 32 others, including six from the BJP, have been disqualified across the country.
"Mr Gandhi, 32 were disqualified and by-elections held, should a different law be made for you?" he jibed the Congress leader.
The former union minister also charged Gandhi with having been "abusive, not critical" in his utterances about the Modi surname which led to the defamation suit.
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