The BJP on Saturday rejected Rahul Gandhi’s claim that he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha for asking questions to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his relationship with Gautam Adani. The party said the Congress leader has been punished for his speech on ”Modi surname” while campaigning in Karnataka during the 2019 elections.
Talking to reporters in Patna soon after Rahul Gandhi’s press conference in New Delhi, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, the Congress leader made false statements and did not speak on his conviction in the defamation case.
Rahul, he said, has been punished for his speech in 2019, Prasad said, pointing out that Rahul had stated today that he always spoke thoughtfully which effectively meant whatever he said in 2019 was spoken thoughtfully.
Days after Rahul Gandhi’s conviction by a Surat court, Prasad said that no attempts were made to seek a stay on the magistrate court’s verdict to encash Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in the Karnataka Assembly polls.
While addressing the press conference in Patna, Prasad said, “Rahul’s utterances on Modi’s surname were abusive, not critical and that the BJP is going to launch a stir against his insult to OBCs.”
The senior BJP leader further said, “You have the right to criticise. You don’t have the right to abuse and insult. He (Rahul Gandhi) abused and insulted (a backward community) in a public meeting. The court gave him a chance to apologise. He said he won’t apologise.”
Earlier, while addressing the press conference in New Delhi, Rahul Gandhi asserted that he would not back down from asking questions on the relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and billionaire Gautam Adani, wondering who invested Rs 20000 crores in Adani’s shell companies.
“This whole drama has been orchestrated to defend the Prime Minister from the simple question- whose Rs 20,000 crores went to Adani’s shell companies? I am not scared of these threats, disqualifications, or prison sentences,” the senior leader said.
He said he was confident that his disqualification would galvanise the Congress and also unite the Opposition parties.
He also thanked the Opposition parties for extending support to him and asserted that going forward, all of them would work together.
On the charge that he has insulted the OBCs by his comments about the surname ‘Modi’ for which he was convicted by the court, the Congress leader said, ”I have always talked about brotherhood, this is not about OBCs. The Opposition will benefit the most from the government’s panic reaction.”
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lower House earlier on Friday, a day after his conviction by the Surat court in a defamation case for a remark using the ‘Modi surname’ at a rally in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.