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Rahul Gandhi on disqualification as MP: ‘First person to get maximum sentence for defamation’

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi who is in the US for a three-city tour addressed Indian students and academicians at the prestigious Stanford University Campus in California on Wednesday. He was seen delivering a speech there, followed by responding a series of questions put forth at him. During then, he revealed that he did not imagine his disqualification from Lok Sabha was possible when he joined politics.

The remark was made while asserting that the decision have him a “huge opportunity” to serve the people. To the unversed, the major stand earlier this year came after he was convicted by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.

Talking of this during his speech at the US, he said, “I don’t think when I joined politics in 2004, I ever imagined what I see going on in our country. To be the first person to be given the first maximum sentence on defamation and maximum sentence to get disqualified. I didn’t imagine that something like this was possible.”

“But then I think it’s actually given me a huge opportunity. Probably much bigger than the opportunity I would have. That’s just the way politics works,” he added.

“The entire opposition is struggling in India. Huge financial dominance. Institutional capture. We’re struggling to fight the democratic fight in our country,” he said, adding that at this point in time, he decided to go for the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’. “I am very clear, our fight is ours fight,” he added during his Stanford address.

When one of the students questioned Rahul Gandhi about how he sees the India-China relationship evolving in the next 5-10 years, the Indian leader said, ” It’s rough. It’s not too easy (a relationship).” “India cannot be pushed around. That something is not going to happen.”

During his interaction at Stanford University, Gandhi supported New Delhi’s policy of having its relationship with Russia in the context of the Ukrainian war, despite the pressure it feels from the West. “We have a relationship with Russia, we have certain dependencies on Russia. So, I would have a similar stance as the Government of India,” Gandhi said in response to a question when asked does he supports India’s neutral stance on Russia.


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