Gandhi declared that he is not bothered by his disqualification from parliament, and will continue to defend the democratic voice of the Indian people.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday addressed the media for the first time in a press conference since his disqualification from the Lok Sabha. He claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was scared of his next speech on the Adani issue and that the "whole game" was meant to distract people from the panic the government was feeling over the matter.
"The prime minister is scared of my next speech on Adani, and I have seen it in his eyes. That is why, first the distraction and then the disqualification," Gandhi alleged.
Gandhi told reporters that he will keep asking questions on the issue involving industrialist Gautam Adani's business empire and that he will not be scared by disqualification or being put in jail.
The former Congress chief was joined by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and party general secretaries Jairam Ramesh and KC Venugopal.
Gandhi, in his presser today, thanked all opposition parties for extending support to him and asserted that going forward, all of them will work together. He also said that attacks are being made on democracy in the country and that examples of it keep manifesting from time to time.
However, Gandhi declared that he is not bothered by his disqualification from parliament, and will continue to defend the democratic voice of the Indian people.
"Even if they disqualify me permanently, I will keep doing my work. It does not matter if I am inside the Parliament or not. I will keep fighting for the country," Gandhi said.
Gandhi expressed his frustration over his speech being expunged from the Parliament and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla's alleged decision to not assist Gandhi in making a speech in the Parliament, despite several requests.
He also mentioned that he will continue to question the ties between Modi and the Adani group of companies, which have recently come under scrutiny after a report by short-seller Hindenburg Research.
He pointed fingers at and questioned Modi on the alleged Rs 20,000 crore that went from mysterious sources to Adani's shell companies.
"My job is to defend the democratic nature of the country which means defending the institutions of the country, defending the voice of the poor people of the country and telling people the truth about people like Adani who are exploiting the relationship they have with the prime minister," Gandhi said.
The politician also chided with a journalist who questioned him on his conviction in the defamation case which was the basis of his disqualification.
"Don't pretend to be a pressman," Gandhi told the reporter.
The Congress party has slammed Gandhi's disqualification as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) "vindictive politics" and vowed to fight against it legally and politically. The BJP dismissed the charge and termed Gandhi's disqualification "lawful."
"I am not interested in anything but the truth. I only speak the truth," Gandhi said today in the media briefing. "It is my work and I will keep doing it even if I get disqualified or get arrested. This country has given me everything and that is why I do this."
The disqualification from the Lok Sabha on Friday, nearly 24 hours after a court in Gujarat's Surat convicted Gandhi in a 2019 defamation case, bars the four-time MP from contesting polls for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction.
He will lose other privileges too such as his government-provided security cover and allowances.
Check out our in-depth Market Coverage, Business News & get real-time Stock Market Updates on CNBC-TV18. Also, Watch our channels CNBC-TV18, CNBC Awaaz and CNBC Bajar Live on-the-go!
Recommended ArticlesView All
India's largest tractor manufacturer looks to lightweight tractors for heavy market share gains
May 30, 2023 IST3 Min(s) Read
Legal Digest: Penalty imposed on the basis of omnibus notice is unsustainable
May 30, 2023 IST4 Min(s) Read
PE deals: Five deals in five months take total tally to $1.34 billion so far in 2023
May 29, 2023 IST3 Min(s) Read
Nifty Bank hits a record high - Here's what lies ahead for the index
May 29, 2023 IST2 Min(s) Read