Days after getting a notice to vacate his official bungalow following his disqualification as a Lok Sabha MP, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has on Tuesday officially announced that he will vacate from the official bungalow and that he will abide to the details furnished in the notice. His official statement has come amidst rapid political events and debates around Rahul Gandhi over how he is going to challenge his disqualification.
Rahul Gandhi was representing the Wayanad parliamentary constituency in Kerala and recently, the seat was declared vacant after the Congress leader was disqualified as an MP by the Lok Sabha Secretariat in the wake of his conviction with two-year jail term in a criminal defamation case. Rahul Gandhi's disqualification has given new stage for the opposition to stay united and to attack the ruling Modi regime.
The case was pertaining to Rahul Gandhi's 'Modi surname' remark that he made during an election rally in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Congress leader asked why all the thieves have Modi as their surname and quoted Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, and Narendra Modi. BJP MLA in Gujarat Purnesh Modi claimed that Gandhi had defamed the entire Modi community and lodged a plaint in his home state. Based on his complaint, a criminal defamation case was filed against Rahul Gandhi under sections 499 and 500 of the IPC.
The case was heard by Chief Magistrate Court in Surat, Gujarat and last week, judge HH Varma pronounced the verdict that Rahul Gandhi was found guilty in the case and the court awarded him a two-year prison sentence. To let Gandhi appeal, the court had suspended the prison sentence for 30 days but the conviction wasn't overturned. As Rahul Gandhi was convicted with two-year jail term, he was disqualified as an MP under the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat has announced his disqualification last Friday and now, the secretariat has sent a notice to Rahul Gandhi asking him to vacate his official bungalow. In a notice that was sent to him on Monday - March 27, the Deputy Secretary of the Secretariat wrote, "Consequent upon your disqualification/cessation from the Membership of 17th Lok Sabha w.e.f 23.03.2023 vide Lok Sabha Secretariat Notification No. 21/4(3)/2023/TO(B) dated 24.03.2023, I am directed to state that you are allowed to retain Bungalow No 12, Tughlak Lane along with its units, in which you have continued to stay as your regular accommodation in the capacity of Member of 17th Lok Sabha, for a maximum period of one month i.e upto 22.04.2023, on the similar terms and conditions as were applicable as a Member immediately before your disqualification from your seat in Lok Sabha."
"The allotment of the aforesaid accommodation shall deem to have been cancelled w.e.f. 23.04.2023", the Secretariat added. Rahul Gandhi, who is recipient of Z-plus security cover, has been living in the 12, Tughlak Lane bungalow since 2005. Now, he has been asked to vacate from the bungalow in thirty days from he was convicted. Following the notice, Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday wrote back to the Deputy Secretary of the Secretariat in which he announced that he will vacate the bungalow and stated that he owes the happy memories during his stay to the mandate of the people.
In his letter, Rahul Gandhi wrote, "Thank you for your letter of March 27, 2023, regarding the cancellation of my accommodation at 12 Tughlak Lane. As an elected Member of the Lok Sabha over the last 4 terms, it is the mandate of the people to which I owe the happy memories of my time spent here. Without prejudice to my rights, I will, of course, abide by the details contained in your letter."
Earlier, the Housing Committee of the Lok Sabha has also directed Rahul Gandhi to vacate his bungalow after getting disqualified as an MP. Slamming the BJP regime over its move to vacate Gandhi from the bungalow, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, "I condemn the attitude of the government to scare, threaten, and humiliate him. This isn't the way. Sometimes, we have been without a bungalow for three to four months. I got one after six months. People do this to humiliate others."