Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as an MP by the Lok Sabha Secretariat is a result of a court order and not a political call, BJP leaders said Friday, stating that everyone is equal before the law.
Union Minister of State for Law and Justice S P S Baghel termed the disqualification "lawful" and asserted that everyone is equal before the law.
He noted that a BJP MLA was recently disqualified in Uttar Pradesh following his conviction in a criminal case.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the decision was a legal one and alleged the Congress was questioning the judiciary.
"It was a legal decision and not a call taken by the political party. It was taken by a court. The Congress should clarify who they are protesting against," he said.
Senior BJP leader Bhupender Yadav said Gandhi had got enough opportunities to explain himself, provide evidence and all rules have been followed leading to his disqualification.
"When the order has come now the Congress is protesting against the order. They are abusing the legal system. In this country, the system runs according to the law and prior to this similar action has been taken against other public representatives.
"Not just Gandhi, but the Congress party should apologise for insulting the OBC community. They should work towards the development of the country instead of defaming the country's democracy in London," he said.
BJP MP from Kaushambi, Vinod Kumar Sonkar said Gandhi had insulted an entire community and he should be punished.
"This is a decision of the court and the way he defamed a community he should be punished. This disqualification is a good message that no one is above the law," he said.
A day after he was convicted by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case, Gandhi was disqualified as MP from Wayanad by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on Friday.
Following his disqualification, Gandhi would not be able to contest elections for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction and sentence.
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