National People’s Party Chief and Meghalaya Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma, on Saturday, termed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's action of challenging Prime Minister Narendra Modi as 'unfortunate' following his conviction in a defamation case by a Surat Court.
Reacting to Rahul Gandhi's disqualification by the Lok Sabha on Friday following the court's verdict, in which Gandhi has been handed a 2-year jail term, Conrad said it was unfortunate that Gandhi was not accepting the court's verdict and the rules of the ECI.
He suggested that Rahul Gandhi should accept the verdict of the court rather than attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Also, he should accept the rules laid down by the Election Commission of India.
Notably, during his election speech in 2019, Rahul Gandhi allegedly insulted PM Modi and ridiculed that people with the surname Modi were all thieves.
“Such a statement is an insult not just to the PM of the nation but also to the entire OBC community," Conrad said.
He further asked Rahul Gandhi to apologise for his statement and focus on course correction rather than challenging the PM at this moment.
When asked whether this situation would impact the prospects of the Congress party in the upcoming 2024 election, the NPP chief opined that it would undoubtedly impact the Congress prospects in 2024.
“The Congress faced a difficult situation in 2014 and 2019, and this situation would further impact the Congress in the coming 2024 elections,” he said.
Earlier, in the morning hours, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as a Member of Parliament (MP) in the Lok Sabha is a judicial matter and should be kept out of the political context.
Speaking to reporters today morning, CM Sarma said, “…court has held him (Rahul Gandhi) guilty, and as a consequence of the pronouncement of the court…he has been disqualified. So, according to me, this is a judicial cycle and there is nothing political about it, so, I don’t think any comment is required from our side on the disqualification as well as the decision of the court.”
He added, “In his speech in Karnataka, he has abused the OBC community. Consequent to that comment, cases were filed in various parts of the country, even in Arunachal also because that particular community resides there too.”
The chief minister further admitted that an accidental slip of tongue is inevitable sometimes but apology should have been tendered.