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Opposition leader Rahul Gandhi disqualified from India's parliament

The decision by the Lok Sabha comes a day after Gandhi was found guilty of defamation for a 2019 campaign trail remark implying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a criminal.

AFP
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In this file photo taken on Dec 31, India's Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi speaks during a press conference in New Delhi. Photo: AFP
In this file photo taken on Dec 31, India's Congress Party leader Rahul Gandhi speaks during a press conference in New Delhi. Photo: AFP

Top Indian opposition figure Rahul Gandhi has been disqualified from parliament as a result of his conviction for defamation, a notice from the national legislature said Friday.

"Rahul Gandhi... stands disqualified from the member of Lok Sabha from the date of his conviction," the notice said.

The decision by the Lok Sabha, the lower house of India's legislature, comes a day after Gandhi was found guilty of defamation for a 2019 campaign trail remark implying that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was a criminal.

Modi's government has been widely accused of using the law to target and silence critics, and the case in the premier's home state of Gujarat is one of several lodged against his chief opponent in recent years.

Gandhi, the leading face of the opposition Congress party, was sentenced to two years imprisonment but immediately granted bail after his lawyers announced their intention to appeal.

Congress spokesman Akhilesh Pratap Singh confirmed to AFP that his party had received the notice.

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