Rahul Gandhi disqualification: The United States said it was closely watching Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification case in Indian courts. US Department of State Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel said that ‘judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy’. He made this remark during a press briefing on Monday.
Vedant Patel was referring to Congress MP Rahul Gandhi who was convicted and subsequently disqualified as a member of parliament in a defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark.
“In our engagements with our Indian partners, we continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights, including freedom of expression, as a key to strengthening both our democracies,” he said.
Watching Rahul Gandhi case
Asked if the US is engaging with Rahul Gandhi as the opposition leader, Patel said that it was normal for the US to engage with members of opposition parties in any country where it has bilateral relationships. Responding to the disqualification of Gandhi, he said, “Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy, and we’re watching Mr. Gandhi’s case in Indian courts.”
Vedant added, “The US engages with the government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values, including of course freedom of expression in our engagements with our Indian partners.”
Indo-US democratic values
He also emphasised on the shared importance of democratic values between India and the US. “We continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights including freedom of expression as a key to strengthening both our democracies.”
Rahul Gandhi was disqualified on Friday as a Member of Lok Sabha after a Surat court on Thursday sentenced him to two years imprisonment in a defamation case over his ‘Modi surname’ remark. He had made the comments in 2019 during an election campaign in Karnataka.
The Congress is planning to hold press conferences in 35 cities across India on Tuesday and Wednesday to protest against Rahul Gandhi disqualification under its ‘Democracy Dis’Qualified’ campaign.
To raise Adani ussue at press conference
The party also will raise the Adani group issue and the alleged “clean chit” to fugitives.
Congress general secretary in-charge communications, Jairam Ramesh, announced on Twitter that senior Congress leaders will address press conferences in 35 cities on March 28 and 29 on the issue of ‘Democracy Dis’Qualified.’
He also said that the party will highlight the Modi government’s clean chit to Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi. It will also highlight the reality of “Modani”at the conferences.
On March Congress will hold press conferences in Lucknow (UP), Jammu (J&K), Hyderabad (Telangana), and Chandigarh. On March 29, the party will hold press conferences in 31 other cities across the country.