India's Rahul Gandhi disqualified as lawmaker after conviction
NEW DELHI (Reuters) -India's parliament disqualified opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi as a lawmaker on Friday, a day after he was found guilty of defamation by a lower court.
Following are some reactions from lawmakers and politicians:
KANIMOZHI (eds: one name), MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM PARTY
"Disqualification of Mr. @RahulGandhi from the Lok Sabha is a vengeful action with which they want to silence the opposition. Our voices will only become louder, and our bond against forces that disrespect the tenets of democracy will only become stronger. We stand with him."
SAURABH BHARADWAJ, CHIEF NATIONAL SPOKESPERSON, AAM AADMI PARTY
"The federal government and BJP are misusing the law in an attempt to quash the voice of the opposition."
"If the federal government suppresses the voice of the opposition, then who will raise the voice of the public?"
MEHBOOBA MUFTI, PRESIDENT, JAMMU AND KASHMIR PEOPLE'S DEMOCRATIC PARTY
"GOI (Govt of India) is clearly rattled by RG (Rahul Gandhi) for emerging as a powerful challenger pre 2024 elections. Since BJP can't fight him politically, they are now subverting institutions because he refuses to do a Savarkar. The apprehensions he voiced in London are tragically being proven right."
MAMATA BANERJEE, CHIEF MINISTER, WEST BENGAL
"In PM Modi's New India, opposition leaders have become the prime target of BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the cabinet, opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches. Today, we have witnessed a new low for our constitutional democracy."
PRIYANKA CHATURVEDI, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, SHIV SENA-UBT
"Vindictive and shameful action against Rahul Gandhi. This disqualification yet again proves that we are living in the times of caged democracy."
SHASHI THAROOR, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONGRESS
"I'm stunned by this action and by its rapidity, within 24 hours of the court verdict and while an appeal was known to be in process. This is politics with the gloves off and it bodes ill for our democracy."
JAIRAM RAMESH, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, CONGRESS
"We will fight this battle both legally and politically. We will not be intimidated or silenced."
KIREN RIJIJU, MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT AND MINISTER, BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
"Rahul Gandhi made very derogatory remark and disgraced an entire OBC (other backward class) Community. Shockingly, some Congress leaders are trying to defend it."
(Compiled by Shivam Patel, Tanvi Mehta and Sakshi Dayal in New Delhi; Editing by Barbara Lewis, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Angus MacSwan)