BJP Tamil Nadu chief K Annamalai on Saturday said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had in 2013 opposed the move to protect convicted lawmakers from instant disqualification.
On Thursday, a Gujarat magistrate court convicted Gandhi of the offence of criminal defamation which led to his disqualification from the Lok Sabha.
"History says this: on September 28, 2013, Rahul Gandhi tore the ordinance that gave three months' time to MLAs and MPs from disqualification and called it complete nonsense," Annamalai said in a tweet while responding to Chief Minister MK Stalin's criticism of the Congress leader's disqualification from Lok Sabha.
Stalin on Friday said, "The disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as MP before he could go for an appeal is the death knell for democracy. The metamorphosis of BJP's vindictive politics into autocracy is happening at an alarming pace. If one goes by history, it is obvious what is in store for such autocrats."
Interestingly, on September 28, 2013, Gandhi in a press conference had torn a copy of the ordinance passed by his own government and termed it "complete nonsense". The ordinance was passed after the Supreme Court in 2013, in the famous judgment of Lily Thomas Vs Union of India, struck down Section 8(4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
According to section 8 (4) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, sitting MPs and MLAs have an additional layer of protection from disqualification in case they are convicted of certain offences.It provided for a period of three months within which the convicted sitting MP/MLA cannot be disqualified. Furthermore, if the sitting MP/MLA were to file an appeal or revision within these three months from the date of conviction, s/he could not be disqualified until the appeal or revision was disposed of.
Through an ordinance route, the UPA government had attempted to nullify the SC judgment through the Representation of the People (Second Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2013. The ordinance was eventually withdrawn.
Stepping up his attack against Gandhi and Stalin, Annamalai said in another tweet, "Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified after a court verdict for his insult to the country's OBC and Teli Society and for not apologising. Habitual apologiser Rahul Gandhi had in the past apologised for peddling lies in public and this verdict has rattled habitual liars, the DMK."
He added, "In 2019, Rahul Gandhi submitted a 3-page unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for faking up corruption charges against Hon PM Thiru @narendramodiavl in the Rafale deal."
Annamalai stated, "Stalin, History should have reminded you that you are in alliance today with a party which dismissed your government. We surely know what's in store for autocrats like you in disguise as people advocating democracy." (ANI)