Bhubaneswar: The disqualification of Rahul Gandhi’s membership from Lok Sabha had its reverberations in Odisha Assembly Friday with Congress lawmakers creating a din leading to several adjournments.
The Congress members trooped into the well of the House as soon as it assembled for the post-lunch session at 4 PM. They shouted anti-BJP slogans and demanded justice for Gandhi, who was disqualified from Lok Sabha on being convicted in a defamation case.
Unable to run the House due to the ruckus, Speaker B K Arukha first adjourned the proceedings for 20 minutes and thrice again for 30 minutes each as protests continued every time it reassembled.
Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra told reporters outside the House that Rahul Gandhi was a “victim of a deep-rooted conspiracy”.
“There is no democracy in the country now,” he said adding that Rahul Gandhi will move the higher court for relief.
Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati said Rahul Gandhi is targeted as he exposed the BJP government. “He is kept out of Parliament as BJP fears that he will expose them more,” he said.
Opposing the comments, Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra of BJP said Gandhi was convicted in a court of law. “There is the provision in law that anyone getting convicted with an imprisonment term for two or more years will lose his/her membership. Is Rahul Gandhi above law?”
The ruling BJD said as Gandhi was convicted by a court of law, “Let law take its own course”.
“Both BJP and the Congress are same for us. Therefore, we will not like to comment on the matter,” senior BJD leader and Revenue and Disatser Management Minister Pramila Mallick said.
BJD member Bhupinder Singh, however, described Gandhi’s disqualification as “unfortunate”.
When the House reassembled, the leader of the opposition said since Rahul Gandhi is not a member of the House, Congress members have no right to stall its proceeding. At this, there was a heated exchange of words between Congress and BJP members.
The CLP leader said the party’s Cuttack MLA was convicted in a case. However, he did not lose membership because of the liberal attitude of the state government and speaker. He was given time to appeal in a higher court.
“This is democracy. In Rahul Gandhi’s case, it is illegal to disqualify his membership as a Parliamentarian,” he claimed.
Gandhi, he said, has not said anything against any particular person for which he can be defamed.
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