Days After Disqualification, Rahul Gandhi Gets Bungalow Eviction Notice

The eviction notice from the Lok Sabha housing panel came two days after Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from parliament

New Delhi:

Congress's Rahul Gandhi has been asked to vacate his Tughlaq Lane bungalow, which he has been occupying since 2005. The eviction notice from the Lok Sabha housing panel came two days after his disqualification from parliament following the two-year jail term handed to him by a Gujarat court in a defamation case. Mr Gandhi's team said they have not received the notice, which came amid Congress assertions that he would file an appeal against the Gujarat court's judgment. He has been given 30 days to file an appeal.

"This was expected of the BJP because the BJP is out on a witch hunt," said Congress MP and its national spokesperson Dr Naseer Hussain.  "They use all kinds of tactics to silence voices of dissent. They have thrown one of our important leaders out of parliament by devious means and this is nothing new," he told NDTV.

The eviction though, could be a technicality since as a recipient of "Z-Plus" security, Mr Gandhi is entitled to accommodation provided by the government, sources pointed out.  

"One should understand that he is a special protectee. Before he can find his accommodation, he will have to have some time. Whether he will write to them or not, or what will happen can be seen only after he takes action," said Dr Hussain.

"Every MP is given a time frame, specially those are close to the ruling dispensation... from that party... they got three months, four months, six months' time," Dr Hussain added, underscoring that he would not like to "name names".

Mr Gandhi has been given time till April 23 to vacate the 12 Tughlaq Lane bungalow.

To Congress allegations of "vindictiveness", the BJP has responded with an accusation of "melodrama".

"You know the lines of propriety, what is acceptable in the political system, the legal system. He (Rahul Gandhi) has been convicted by a court. Then, there are automatic procedures," Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said, alluding to Mr Gandhi's disqualification.

Them in a jab at Mr Gandhi for his "I'm not Savarkar" remark, he added, "You know the contribution of people like Savarkarji? As I said, you are getting an ass to run a horse's race".

Mr Gandhi was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison last week in a four-year-old criminal defamation case over his remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname. He was granted bail by the Gujarat court and given 30 days to file an appeal. On Friday, he was formally disqualified from the Lok Sabha.

During the campaign ahead of the 2019 general election, Mr Gandhi had said, "How come all thieves have the common surname Modi?" A police case was filed shortly after on a complaint by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.