J-K: PDP chief congratulates Rahul Gandhi for his reinstatement

Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha member in March after a Gujarat court convicted him in a defamation case and sentenced him to two years in jail

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (photo:AICC)
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (photo:AICC)


Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti on Monday congratulated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on his reinstatement as the Lok Sabha member and said she is looking forward to seeing him “roaring like a lion” in the parliament on public issues.

Gandhi was disqualified as a Lok Sabha member in March after a Gujarat court convicted him in a defamation case and sentenced him to two years in jail.

A punishment of two years and above automatically disqualifies a lawmaker.

The Supreme Court last Friday stayed his conviction, paving the way for the restoration of his Lok Sabha membership. Gandhi's Lok Sabha membership was restored on Monday.

“I want to congratulate Congress and Rahul Gandhi for his reinstatement. The Supreme Court has raised many questions on the verdict of Gujarat courts but the question arises that what if a poor man faces injustice and where will he go,” Mehbooba said addressing a meeting of workers inside the party office in Jammu.

“All the people cannot knock on the door of the Supreme Court after being let down by lower courts where innocents are denied bail and pushed to languish in jails for years while rapists and corrupt are walking out freely as bail is readily available for them. It is a matter of concern,” she added.

The former chief minister said Gandhi, in the past, raised issues of public importance like corruption, inflation and unemployment in the parliament and “we are looking forward to seeing him roaring like a lion once again on such issues.” Expressing her concern over the situation in Manipur and Haryana, Mehbooba cautioned the people against the attempts to divide them on communal lines.

“Congress might have made many mistakes in the past but they kept the country united. They divided the neighbouring country by carving out Bangladesh…if people do not understand today, what has happened in Manipur and Haryana will engulf the whole country and Jammu will be the first victim as BJP has done nothing for the region and depend only on pitching Hindu against Muslim narrative,” she said.

Referring to the arrest of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, she said the people are not surprised as Pakistan has a history of the ruling party arresting their opponents.

“Former Pakistan military ruler Gen Zia-ul-Haq set free the genie of hatred from the bottle and unfortunately the same thing is now happening in our country under the present dispensation,” Mehbooba said.

“What is going on in (RSS) Shakha is no secret where training is imparted. Their ministers are chanting slogans like ‘Goli Maro' …those who are violating the constitution should be jailed,” she said.

The PDP leader said the BJP claims that they have stopped stone pelting in Kashmir but the reality is that it has spread across the country.

“From Manipur to Haryana, stone pelting has become a norm. They have pushed the country into a fire which needs to be doused,” she said. 

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