The swiftness with which the Lok Sabha Secretariat announced the cancellation of the Parliament membership of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after the verdict of the Surat court in a case of defamation , it is a new thing for Indian politics.
No doubt what happened is according to the rules and regulations. It is also interesting to note that the law under which Rahul Gandhi was stripped of his membership of Parliament was enacted in 2013 after his own intervention.
Then Rahul Gandhi publicly tore the copy of the ordinance related to relief from this law being brought by the then UPA government.
In this sense, the opposition can argue that why the Congress is making so much hue and cry over the implementation of the law which Rahul Gandhi himself had advocated so passionately.
But this is only one side of the coin. In a democracy, the specifics of the law are important, but this question is no less important as to how the common people will see an issue.
And it’s hard to ignore the question from a layman’s point of view that whatever the crime.
In such a situation, the haste shown by the Lok Sabha Secretariat in canceling his membership has nothing to do with his ongoing tussle with the government, it will not be easy for the BJP to convince the people.
The initial reaction of the Congress leaders also confirms that they will focus on this aspect the most.
In contrast, the BJP’s emphasis seems to be on telling that Rahul Gandhi has insulted the entire OBC community with his statement.
Whose talk is going to have more impact on the public, it will take some time to become clear.
But the way this episode has forced all the opposition parties to support Rahul Gandhi, it has become an additional challenge for the BJP.
Apart from this, there is another important aspect of this whole episode which cannot be ignored.
Keep in mind, Rahul Gandhi’s statement on which the latest round of deadlock started in Parliament was given abroad and its essence was that democracy in India is weakening.
It was necessary for the government to prove irrelevant or meaningless this perception being made at the international level by its behavior.
The matter of concern is that whether it is right or wrong, the tightening grip of law and order on the opposition leaders does not convey the message of strength of democracy.