Statement on disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from Indian Parliament
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 24, 2023) –Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) strongly condemns the disqualification of Mr. Rahul Gandhi, a senior Congress leader from the Indian parliament, a day after being convicted in a politically motivated defamation case.
In 2019, Mr. Gandhi delivered a speech at an election rally where he referred to thieves as having the same surname as Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The defamation case against Mr. Gandhi was designed to harass and intimidate him. The decision to disqualify him from the parliament on the basis of this conviction is a grave injustice and a clear manifestation of the ruling party’s desperation to maintain its hold on power, to decimate the opposition, and to silence any dissenting voices.
The IAMC believes that the decision to disqualify Mr. Gandhi sets a dangerous precedent for the future of Indian democracy. It sends a message that the ruling party will stop at nothing to suppress any opposition and that the judiciary can be manipulated to serve political interests.
“The disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Indian parliament is a blatant violation of the principles of democracy and a chilling reminder of the descent of India into a fascist state. This is not just an attack on an individual but an attack on everyone who is critical of the Modi regime,” said IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed.
“We urge the Biden administration and the international community to take note of this alarming development and speak out in defense of democracy and human rights in India,” Ahmed added.