New Delhi (India), March 25, 2023: Rahul Gandhi, leader of the Indian National Congress party, launched a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after being disqualified from parliament.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters, Gandhi accused the Prime Minister of being afraid of his next speech and used a Veer Savarkar reference to justify his decision not to apologize over his controversial remarks in London and during his recent defamation trial.
“I have been disqualified because the Prime Minister is scared of my next speech. I have seen fear in his eyes. That’s why they don’t want me to speak in Parliament,” declared Gandhi. Referring to the BJP’s calls for an apology, he stated, “My name is not Savarkar. I am a Gandhi. I won’t apologize.”
Gandhi went on to deny the BJP’s allegations that he had sought the intervention of international forces in the domestic affairs of the country. He argued that he had merely requested the Speaker to let him respond on the floor of the House to the accusations made against him over his London remarks.
“BJP leaders have claimed that I am helping anti-India forces. I told the Speaker that it is my right to respond to these allegations. But he didn’t allow me,” he added. “I have only one step, and that is to fight for truth and defend the democratic nature of this country. Disqualify me for life, jail me for life, I will continue going.”
In response to Gandhi’s speech, the BJP reiterated its claim that the Congress party was attempting to portray Gandhi as a victim of electoral gains. “The Congress is trying to project Rahul Gandhi as a victim for electoral gains in Karnataka,” said former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Gandhi was disqualified from parliament after being convicted in a defamation case and sentenced to two years in jail. The case was initiated over his alleged remarks made during a 2019 election rally, implying that PM Modi is a criminal. The BJP had accused Gandhi of insulting the Other Backward Communities (OBCs) with his comment on the Modi surname.