In his first press conference after being disqualified as a member of the parliament, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi maintained that he will continue to defend "democratic voice of people of India".
"I am here to defend democratic voice of people of India. Will continue to do that, I am not scared of anyone," he said. Rahul Gandhi was disqualified under Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 after he was convicted in a 2019 defamation case. The disqualification from the Lok Sabha will bar him from contesting polls for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction.
The former Congress chief was flanked at the press meet by Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, his Chhattisgarh counterpart Bhupesh Baghel and party general secretaries Jairam Ramesh and KC Venugopal. Gandhi said the moot question remains that who invested Rs 20,000 crore in Adani shell firms and he will keep asking that question.
"I will keep asking questions on Adani issue, they cannot scare me by disqualification or putting me in jail. I won't back down," the Congress leader said. On BJP's charge that he insulted OBCs, Gandhi said, " I have always talked about brotherhood, this is not about OBCs."
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 PM:… pic.twitter.com/mZqAiWRsna— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2023
"I have been disqualified as the Prime Minister is scared of my next speech. I have seen fear in his eyes. That's why they don't want me to speak in the Parliament," said the Congress leader who came under fire for his remarks on Indian democracy in the United Kingdom.
He said he asked the Speaker to let him respond to the allegations over his remarks in London, on the floor of the house.
"I have only one step and that's to fight for truth and to defend democratic nature of this country. Disqualify me for life, jail me for life, I will continue going," said Gandhi. "Do I look worried? I'm excited," he asserted.
He further thanked all opposition parties for extending their support to him. The parties had carried out protest marches following the Congress leader's conviction.
(With inputs from PTI)