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Rahul Gandhi gets 2-year jail term for Modi surname remark, gets bail for appeal, could lose his Parliament membership

A Gujarat court, Thursday, found Congress scion Rahul Gandhi guilty in the 2019 “Modi surname” defamation case.

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Rahul Gandhi

A Gujarat court on Thursday found Congress scion Rahul Gandhi guilty in the 2019 “Modi surname” defamation case and sentenced him to two years imprisonment–the maximum sentence possible sentence under section IPC sections 499 and 500, under which the Wayanad MP was convicted.

According to reports, a court in Gujarat’s Surat city, convicted Rahul Gandhi under IPC sections 499 and 500 in a criminal defamation case against him over his alleged “Modi surname” remark in 2019 and handed him a two-year sentence. However, Gandhi was later granted bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days allow him to appeal the court’s judgment.

The Congress MP was present in the court when the verdict was announced in under IPC sections 499 and 500 of the IPC—which carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment.  

Rahul Gandhi may lose his Parliament membership?

Rahul Gandhi’s conviction and two-year prison sentence handed by the Surat court may lead to the former Congress President to losing his seat in the Parliament, according to a previous Supreme Court judgement.

The apex court on July 10, 2013 in the Lily Thomas v. Union of India case (along with Lok Prahari v. Union of India), ruled that any ruled that any Member of Parliament (MP), Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) or Member of a Legislative Council (MLC), convicted of a crime and handed a minimum two-year imprisonment sentence, loses membership of the House with immediate effect.

The Supreme Court, in its landmark judgement, had reverted on its earlier stance wherein convicted members held on to their seats until they exhausted all judicial remedy in lower, state and the apex court.

A Supreme Court bench of Justice A. K. Patnaik and Justice S. J. Mukhopadhaya, also declared as unconstitutional, Section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed elected representatives three months to appeal their conviction.

What’s the case?

BJP legislator and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi had filed a complaint against the Wayanad MP for allegedly asking “how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”, leading to an FIR against Gandhi under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 499 and 500 which carries a punishment with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both, are mentioned in the IPC.

As per the complaint, Purnesh Modi had alleged that Rahul Gandhi made the remark made at a rally at Kolar in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which defamed the entire Modi community.

Read Also: Poster war: BJP posters calling for Kejriwal’s ouster come up in Delhi

The final arguments in the case resumed in February 2023 after the Gujarat high court vacated the interim stay it had imposed on the proceedings in March 2022 on the complainant’s plea demanding Rahul Gandhi’s personal appearance in the court.

Gandhi’s lawyer defended that the proceeding was flawed from the beginning as the legal procedure under Section 202 of the CrPC was not followed and also argued that Narendra Modi should have been the complainant in the case as Purnesh Modi was not the target of the Congress leader’s speech.

Meanwhile, the Congress on Thursday put up posters outside the Surat court in support of Rahul Gandhi as he arrived for the proceedings in the defamation case.

The posters said “let’s go to Surat in support of democracy” along with pictures of Bhagat Singh and Sukhdev.

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Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj set to make poll debut in upcoming Lok Sabha elections

Bansuri Swaraj is a distinguished lawyer and brings wealth of experience in legal procedures to the political arena. She had been appointed by the BJP as the co-convenor of BJP’s Delhi legal cell last year. She has 15 years of experience as an advocate as she had enrolled in the Bar Council of Delhi in 2007

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Bansuri Swaraj, the daughter of former foreign affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is set to make her poll debut in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. In its first list of candidates, BJP announced that Swaraj will contest from the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat. Soon after her name was announced, Swaraj said she will try to live up to the legacy set by her mother, who she was sure sending her blessings from heaven.

She said this achievement does not belong to Bansuri Swaraj, but every karyakarta (worker) of Delhi BJP. Bansuri Swaraj is a distinguished lawyer and brings wealth of experience in legal procedures to the political arena. She had been appointed by the BJP as the co-convenor of BJP’s Delhi legal cell last year.

She has 15 years of experience as an advocate as she had enrolled in the Bar Council of Delhi in 2007. She completed her graduation in English Literature from the University of Warwick and pursued a law degree from the prestigious BPP law School in London. Her academic qualifications include qualifying as Barrister at Law and being called to the bar from the honorable Inn of Inner Temple, London.

After enhancing her legal credentials, she completed her Masters of Studies from St Catherine’s College at the University of Oxford. Throughout her professional career, Bansuri has carved a niche for herself in the legal domain, representing high profile clients in contentious litigation. Her expertise includes a large number of legal areas, including disputes involving contracts, real estate, tax, international commercial arbitrations, and criminal trials.

Last year Bansuri launched a scathing attack on the Aam Aadmi Party over the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Ammendment Bill), 2023. During a press conference she categorized AAP government as jhagdalu (quarrelsome) and nikammi (useless). She congratulated Droupadi Murmu for passing the bill and expressed confidence that the administration in Delhi would operate in accordance with the law.

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Mallikarjun Kharge criticises Centre over Make in India, says government has failed due to complete inaction in creating jobs and utilising funds

The Congress leader took to X and posted the Modi government failed to realize Make in India! The loud drumbeating on their interventions in the manufacturing sector has been drowned by complete inaction. He further asked why the value added by manufacturing in India’s GDP decreased from 16% to 13% over the past ten years.

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Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Saturday targeted the Centre over Make in India and said the Modi government has failed to complete inaction in creating jobs and utilising funds. He asked many questions as to why the government has failed to create enough jobs and on the under utilisation of funds in key sectors to promote manufacturing in India.

The Congress leader took to X and posted the Modi government failed to realize Make in India! The loud drumbeating on their interventions in the manufacturing sector has been drowned by complete inaction. He further asked why the value added by manufacturing in India’s GDP decreased from 16% to 13% over the past ten years.

Kharge also asked why the average manufacturing growth had declined under the BJP government at the Centre. He said it was 7.85% during the Congress – UPA government which plunged to 6% only. He said the Modi government had promised 10 crore manufacturing jobs by 2022. Kharge asked where are the jobs? He asked why has the workforce in manufacturing declined in the last 10 years?

The Congress leader also pointed out a majority of the Production-Linked Incentives (PLI) Scheme has failed to take off? He asked why has there been a massive under-utilisation of funds for key sectors? He added 96% of funds for the PLI scheme in the textiles sector remained unused.

Kharge said no funds had been provided for the PLI scheme in the renewable sector and 95% of funds for the scheme in the white goods for manufacture of components and sub- assemblies of AC’s and LEDs remain unused. He failed to understand the percentage increase in India’s exports, which was 549% during Congress-UPA, declined to just 90% during the Modi government?He slammed Centre over rise in imports from China despite border transgressions.

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2024 Lok Sabha elections: PM Modi to contest again from Varanasi, Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, 34 ministers in BJP first list for 195 seats

Home Minister Amit Shah will be contesting again from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

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With the winter making way for spring, election season is here with the BJP announcing the first list of candidates for 195 constituencies. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is again contesting from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, Home Minister Amit Shah from Gandhinagar, Gujarat and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh from Lucknow.

In all, 34 ministers have been fielded. Other prominent leaders include Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani from Amethi and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla from Kota. Notably, the party has fielded a Muslim candidate, Dr Abdul Salam, from Malappuram in Kerala.

Earlier today, East Delhi MP Gautam Gambhir and Minister of State Jayant Sinha had opted out of the contest indicating they will not be fielded by the party from East Delhi and Hazaribagh.

The 195-seat list includes 51 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 20 in West Bengal, 24 in Madhya Pradesh, 15 each in Gujarat and Rajasthan, 12 in Kerala, 9 in Telangana, 11 each in Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, 5 in Delhi, 2 in Jammu and Kashmir 3 in Uttarakhand, 2 in Arunachal Pradesh, 1 each in Goa, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar and Daman Diu respectively.  

The Prime Minister has been touring the country inaugurating a slew of projects across the country. He has also been attacking the Congress for not having the guts to face the people, an oblique reference to Sonia Gandhi looking at a seat in the Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan. The vacating of Rae Bareli by Sonia Gandhi is being seen as paving the way for daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

The candidates named for the seats in Delhi include Praveen Khandelwal, sitting MP Manoj Tiwari and Sushma Swaraj’s daughter Bansuri Swaraj.

In Kerala, IT MoS Rajeev Chandrasekhar will contest from Thiruvananthapuram, Congress leader AK Antony’s son Anil K Antony from Pathanamthitta and Malayalam actor Suresh Gopi from Thrissur.

Former Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay has been fielded from Karimnagar and G Kishan Reddy from Secunderabad. Former Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb has been fielded from Tripura West.

In Uttar Pradesh, Dr Mahesh Sharma has been nominated for Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida), Hema Malini from Mathura, SP Singh Baghel from Agra and Ajay Mishra Teni from Kheri.

The party has not announced a candidate for Kaiserganj, which is currently represented by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the former Wrestling Federation of India chief, who is under a cloud of sexual harassment charges.

After getting elected from the Rajya Sabha earlier, Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will also be contesting from Porbandar in Gujarat. Interestingly, the Rajya Sabha member and minister, Rajeev Chandrasekhar will contest from the Thiruvananthapuram seat, which is held by the Congress MP Shashi Tharoor. 

Union Minister and Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia will be contesting from Guna in Madhya Pradesh, a constituency the former Congress leader had a grip on since 2002 but he lost to the BJP’s Krishna Pal Singh Yadav in 2019. Rajya Sabha MP Bhupender Yadav will be contesting from Alwar and Union Minister Kiren Rijiju from Arunachal West.

Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be contesting from Vidisha in the Lok Sabha elections. Last year, Chouhan could not make it to the Chief Minister post despite the BJP’s stunning victory.

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