ANKARA (AA) – The Indian parliament has disqualified Rahul Gandhi, a senior leader of India’s main opposition Congress party, a day after a local court in the western Indian state of Gujarat convicted Gandhi in the criminal defamation case against India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A notification issued by the Lok Sabha, or lower house of parliament, said Gandhi “stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction …”
On Thursday, Gandhi was sentenced to two years in prison by Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma in Surat, Gujarat, Modi’s home state, but was released on bail for 30 days so that he could appeal the verdict in a higher court.
The complaint was filed by Purnesh Modi, a state legislator from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for his alleged remarks while addressing an election rally in the southern state of Karnataka ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Gandhi is a scion of India’s most famous political dynasty, the son, grandson, and great-grandson of former prime ministers. However, in the last two general elections, his party has been crushed by the Hindu nationalist Modi-led BJP.
Earlier this year, he traveled from the south to the north of the country in a nationwide march to challenge Modi, who is seeking a third consecutive term next year.