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'Modi and Shah are scared of Rahul Gandhi'

Last updated on: August 10, 2023 00:08 IST
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'It is this fear that is behind all that has happened to Rahul Gandhi.'

IMAGE: Congress MP Rahul Gandhi attends the proceedings of the Lok Sabha, August 7, 2023. Photograph: SansadTV/ANI Photo

It was on the 24th of March 2023 that Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha after a Gujarat court convicted him on charges of defamation.

It was at a political rally in Karnataka during the 2019 general elections that Rahul Gandhi made the alleged comments.

On the 4th of August, the Supreme Court stayed the Gujarat verdict. On Monday, August 7, the Lok Sabha secretariat revoked his disqualification from Parliament and he returned to the Lok Sabha after 136 days as the MP representing Wayanad in Kerala.

An elated T Siddhique, the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee working president and the Congress MLA from Kalpetta which falls within Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad constituency, discusses the implications of the Supreme Court verdict with's Shobha Warrier.

The first of a two-part interview:


What kind of impact will these developments have on the Congress party?

First, it is a huge step forward for the INDIA movement when the BJP is trying hard to split the parties in the INDIA movement, when they are using agencies like ED (the Enforcement Directorate) to achieve it, when they are trying to destabilise state governments ruled by the parties that are in the INDIA movement.

The case against Rahul Gandhi, his disqualification from Parliament clearly show that the central government was deviating from democratic debates to indulge in destructive democratic practices.

It is because they are scared.

IMAGE: Congress workers celebrate the Supreme Court's interim stay on party leader Rahul Gandhi's conviction, August 4, 2023, here and below. Photograph: ANI Photo

Do you think the BJP was rattled after the Bharat Jodo Yatra?

Those who are scared of Rahul Gandhi's fearlessness, lovable nature and sacrificing mentality are Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and the central government.

It is this fear that is behind all that has happened to Rahul Gandhi.

They have been portraying Rahul Gandhi and insulting him using very derogatory terms on social media.

Though we were aware of his credibility, innocence, integrity and fearless approach to issues concerning the country, the general public somehow believed the perception created by the BJP and Sangh parivar propaganda machine.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra changed this and people saw the potential he had as a leader. They came to know who Rahul Gandhi really after the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

The two major reasons why they wanted to disqualify Rahul Gandhi are the positive image he created after the yatra and his ability to talk about truth fearlessly. They got scared because of these two reasons.

They questioned him for 56 hours, but he did not budge. What he said was, the finger I raised against you will not come down, and I would continue to raise questions.

It was after he led the debate in Parliament against (Adani Group Chairman Gautam) Adani that the Gujarat court verdict came.

It was after he spoke exposing the clear connection between Narendra Modi and Adani that he was disqualified.

Every incident is well-connected.

You said what happened to Rahul Gandhi was political conspiracy...

This is totally a political conspiracy. This case can be compared to the political conspiracies that were hatched during the British period against Indian freedom fighters.

Photograph: ANI Photo

How will this impact Indian democracy as a whole? Do you think this is against freedom of speech?

One of the most important rights given to the citizens of this country by the Constitution is Freedom of Speech and expression.

Do you know what Jawaharlal Nehru told the well known cartoonist, Sankar? 'Don't spare me. You should criticise me'.

Today, why do we ask thousands of questions to Narendra Modi not only inside Parliament, but outside also?

Because asking questions is the most important aspect in a democracy.

What we hear is only the one-sided loquaciousness of the prime minister through Mann ki Baat.

We don't hear the sacred debates that are the hallmarks of a democracy.

Is democracy in danger, according to you?

Every aspect of democracy is being destroyed in India now.

The violence in Manipur started on May 3. More than four months have passed.

The prime minister mentioned about it in passing only once, and that was before the Parliament session started.

The home minister went to Manipur just once. Manipur is still burning.

The Supreme Court said there was a complete breakdown of the Constitutional machinery in Manipur.

I don't think the Supreme Court had to speak like this about any other state till now.

Why is it that the state government is not dismissed even now?

What is to be spoken about, the prime minister would not speak, what is to be done, he would not do.

IMAGE: T Siddhique, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee working president and Congress MLA from Kalpetta. Photograph: Kind courtesy T Siddhique

What we see in Haryana now is the aftermath of hate politics.
As a political leader from the minority community, how concerned are you about hate politics against Muslims?

It may be Manipur today, it may be Haryana today, but it is already spreading to the rest of the country in one way or the other.

From Manipur, it has speared to Nagaland.

In our concept, the North East is the conglomeration of seven states or seven sisters! They are border states that require special consideration.

But arms and ammunition are reaching the hands of people.

The North Eastern states have never been in such a grave situation.

Can we forget the firing that happened in a train by an RPF officer? It is reported that he quoted Yogi and Modi after killing people.

This incident depicts the level to which hate politics has reached in India.

Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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