Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday said the disqualification of Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi's MP status, following the ruling of a Surat court in a defamation case, was the latest episode in Sangh Parivar's attack on democracy.
In a Facebook post, the CM said suppressing opposing views using power is a fascist method. "It's the main leader of the opposition who is being attacked. In such a scenario, what safety does the common man have to voice his opinions? What kind of respect are they giving for constitutional values?" he asked in the post. Pinarayi said the arrest of Manish Sisodia and the BJP's political interference in other states are also part of its agenda to attack democracy. "All those who believe in democracy should come together to react against the same," he wrote.
CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury condemned the disqualification. "It’s condemnable that the BJP is now using the criminal defamation route to target opposition leaders and disqualify them as done with @RahulGandhi now. This comes on top of the gross misuse of ED/CBI against the opposition. Resist and defeat such authoritarian assaults," he wrote in a Facebook post.
A day after a Surat court convicted Gandhi guilty in a 2019 criminal defamation case, he has been disqualified as MP. The Lok Sabha Secretariat in a notification said that it was effective from March 23, the day of his conviction.
"Consequent upon his conviction by the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat...Rahul Gandhi, Member of Lok Sabha representing the Wayanad Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction i.e. 23 March 2023," the notification read.