From MK Stalin to Mamata Banerjee: How Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as an MP poured him a national support?

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is no more a Lok Sabha MP but this setback is displaying the trend of growing national support for him for a big comeback. From national leaders to the Chief Ministers, Rahul Gandhi is in a rain of support from across the country. On Friday - March 24, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as an MP after he was convicted in a criminal defamation case. 

As the Congress leader and the party have been discussing to launch a legal strike against the conviction and two-year prison sentence and to overturn it, several national leaders are extending their support to Rahul Gandhi and slamming the Modi regime for its assault. Following Rahul Gandhi's disqualification, the Congress party has held a press conference during which it came down heavily at the ruling BJP government. 

The party has alleged that Rahul's disqualification is part of a pattern to stop him from speaking out against the Central government and also an attempt to divert public attention from real issues. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "The issue before us is political, more than it is legal. It is a political issue because it signifies the systematic, repitive emasculation of democratic institutions by the ruling party. It signifies the strangulation of democracy itself." 

He further said, "We know that defamation is an exception to free speech, but over the last several years, we have had repeated examples of unthinkable assaults on freedom of speech, more importantly, freedom after speech. We all know that Rahul Gandhi has been speaking fearlessly inside and outside Parliament. He is paying a price for it." "We are confident that we will get a stay on his conviction, which will, in turn, remove the very basis of this disqualification. We have full faith in the law. We believe we will emerge victorious in the near future", Singhvi added. 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has strongly condemned Rahul Gandhi's disqualification and said that his disqualification is an assault on progressive forces. He further called on the Opposition parties to come together against this disqualification. Stalin urged the government to withdraw the action taken against Rahul Gandhi. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the disqualification is Modi's new India and alleged that the Opposition leaders have become the prime target of the BJP. Taking to Twitter, she wrote, "In PM Modi’s New India, Opposition leaders have become the prime target of BJP! While BJP leaders with criminal antecedents are inducted into the cabinet, Opposition leaders are disqualified for their speeches. Today, we have witnessed a new low for our constitutional democracy." 

Staunchly attacking the Modi regime, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that today's government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is more dangerous than the British. Speaking at the Delhi Assembly following Rahul's disqualification, Kejriwal said, "Our forefathers fought for freedom and to make India free from the British. But today's government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is more dangerous than the British. This is not just the Congress's fight. This is a fight to save the country." 

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao called Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as the height of Narendra Modi's arrogance and dictatorship. Rao said, "Today is a Black Day in the history of Indian democracy. Rahul Gandhi's disqualification from Parliament is the height of Narendra Modi's arrogance and dictatorship....This is not the time for conflicts between parties. All democrats should openly condemn the misdeeds of BJP govt to safeguard the democracy and constitutional values in the country." 

Chhatisgarh Chief Minister and Congress leader Bhupesh Baghel said, "You cannot scare Rahul Gandhi." Taking to Twitter, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan wrote, "The hasty decision to disqualify @RahulGandhi as a member of the Lok Sabha is yet another episode in @BJP4India's authoritarian rampage against Indian democracy. This brazen assault is an insult to our democratic values and can't be overlooked. It must be unequivocally denounced." Amidst in the national support and spotlight over his next move, Rahul Gandhi reacted for the first time about his disqualification. Taking to Twitter, he wrote in Hindi, "I am fighting for the voice of India. I am ready to pay every price." 

Must-read: Breaking: Rahul Gandhi is disqualified as Congress MP after his conviction in a defamation case!