Never imagined disqualification was possible when I joined politics: Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said that he did not imagine his disqualification from Lok Sabha was possible when he joined politics but asserted that it has given him a “huge opportunity” to serve the people.
Rahul, who is in the US for a three-city tour, made the remarks on Wednesday night in response to a series of questions from Indian students at the prestigious Stanford University Campus in California. He was disqualified from Lok Sabha earlier this year after he was convicted by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark.
Referring to his disqualification from Lok Sabha as MP, Rahul, 52, said he didn’t imagine that something like this was possible. “But then I think it has actually given me a huge opportunity. Probably much bigger than the opportunity I would have. That’s just the way politics works,” he said.
In his remarks, Rahul said that when he joined politics in 2000, he never imagined this is what he would go through. What he sees is going on now is way outside anything that he had thought when he joined politics. “To be the first person to be given the first maximum sentence on defamation and maximum sentence to get disqualified. I didn’t imagine that something like this was possible,” he added.
“I think the drama started really, about six months ago. We were struggling. The entire Opposition is struggling in India. Huge financial dominance. Institutional capture. We’re struggling to fight the democratic fight in our country,” he said, adding that at this point in time, he decided to go for the Bharat Jodo Yatra.
“I am very clear, our fight is our fight,” he said. “But there is a group of young students from India here. I want to have a relationship with them and want to talk to them. It’s my right to do it,” he said during his interaction with Indian students and academicians of Indian origin at the university in Stanford.
He also emphasised in his frequent foreign trips like this, he is not seeking support from anybody. “I don’t understand why the prime minister doesn’t come here and do it,” Rahul asked amidst applause from the audience who had packed the entire auditorium at Stanford. The moderator said that the prime minister is welcome to come to Stanford anytime and interact with the students and academicians.
Some of the students were denied entry as the auditorium was packed. Students started queuing up two hours before the event started. In the last one and a half years, several Indian ministers have interacted with Indian students.
(With agency inputs)