Angry Indian Opposition Lawmakers Shut Down Parliament over Expulsion of Anti-Modi Leader

India’s parliament, the lower house, was rocked on Monday by angry protests from opposition lawmakers against the ouster of Indian Parliamentary Party (INC) leader Rahul Gandhi.

Speaker Om Birla postpones the meeting twice after black-clad opposition lawmakers threw scraps of paper at him, loudly drowned out the proceedings, and chanted protest slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP party. I was forced to.

MP Rahul Gandhi arrives at the Houses of Parliament during a budget session in New Delhi, India, February 9, 2023. (Sanjeev Verma/The Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Gandhi, the INC’s most prominent member but not currently its chief executive, convicted He was sentenced to two years in prison for defaming Modi last week. Parliament then followed the provisions of the Indian Code, Banished Gandhi left his seat last Friday. Because his conviction made him ineligible to serve even while he was on bail and appealing.

The slanderous remarks were made in a 2019 speech in which Gandhi lumped the prime minister with two high-profile Indian criminal defendants who happened to be named ‘Modi’. Members of his BJP party, led by Modi, prosecuted him, claiming that Gandhi’s remarks were not only defamatory of Prime Minister Modi personally, but also an insult to the ethnic group to which he belongs.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (T. Narayan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Gandhi and his INC party allege the indictment was a political stunt in which the BJP could force outspoken critics out of parliament and be disqualified from running against Modi for the prime minister’s seat next year. .

Lawmakers from INC and its allies, dressed in black shirts and scarves, made this debate very loud On Monday, Congress adjourned twice for 10 minutes.Also directed by the leader of the opposition party protest For the prosecution of Gandhi in New Delhi and other cities across India.

BJP lawmakers countered by accusing the INC of engaging in “cheap politics” and arguing that Gandhi “has no right to think he is above the law”. Held by BJP members rebellion For parliamentary reasons after Lok Sabha was postponed.

Gandhi himself described the lawsuit against him as an attack on democracy.on saturday he defendant BJP is India’s richest man close allies of Modi. Adani has been accused of fraud by a US company called Hindenburg Research.

“The Prime Minister is afraid of my next speech, so I have been disqualified. He is afraid of the next speech to be given in Adani. , that’s the problem,” Gandhi accused Saturday.

“They’re used to everyone scaring them. I’m not scared of them,” he said.

“My family has nurtured the democracy of this country in its blood. I’m not going to be,” Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said at the same rally on Saturday.

U.S. Department of State Said On Monday, America respects both the rule of law and democracy and will monitor Gandhi’s situation.

“Respect for the rule of law and an independent judiciary are the cornerstones of any democracy. We are working with the Indian government and, of course, freedom of expression,” said State Department spokesman Vedant Patel.

Patel did not say whether the US government had direct contact with Gandhi, but said, “It is normal and normal for any country with bilateral ties to engage with members of the opposition.” .

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