Following his disqualification as an MP, Rahul Gandhi may have to vacate his official bungalow in Lutyens' Delhi within a month if he does not get relief from a higher court in the criminal defamation case, an official said on Friday.
Gandhi was allotted the 12, Tughlaq Lane bungalow after his election as a Lok Sabha MP in 2004. On Friday, the Lok Sabha Secretariat disqualified him as an MP, effective March 23, after he was convicted by a Surat court in an 2019 criminal defamation case and sentenced him to two years in jail.
Giving immediate bail, the court allowed the former Congress president 30 days to appeal in a higher court. "As he has been disqualified from Lok Sabha, he is not entitled to a government accommodation. According to rules, he will have to vacate his official bungalow within a month since the date of disqualification order," an official of the Union Housing and Urban Affairs Ministry said.
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had to vacate her official Lodhi Estate bungalow in July 2020 as she was no longer eligible for it after her security cover had been downgraded. The Congress party has said it would fight the conviction and disqualification of Rahul gandhi politically and legally.
Following his disqualification, Rahul Gandhi would not be able to contest elections for eight years unless a higher court stays his conviction and sentence. Hitting out at the government over the issue, the Congress said it was "a black day for Indian democracy" and asserted that the battle will be fought both "legally and politically".
The opposition party also alleged that the action was driven by "political vendetta". Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the BJP made all efforts to get him disqualified as he was speaking the truth. "He has been removed from the House for speaking the truth, fighting for the Constitution and for people's rights," Kharge alleged.