Narendra Modi’s BJP hands opposition a useful sword

The removal of Rahul Gandhi from Parliament has already had the effect of rallying the opposition.

Indian Youth Congress activists protesting against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as a Member of Parliament in New Delhi on Monday. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Has Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party just gifted their all-conquering supremo a broad potential challenge in the next election, if not a single viable challenger?

The world must ask the question after opposition figure Rahul Gandhi of the Indian National Congress was sentenced on March 23 to two years in jail – the maximum sentence – for criminal defamation. Based on the judgment, which triggers disqualification from standing for public office for six years after the jail term is completed, the Parliament secretariat told Gandhi, who is a four-term MP, that he had lost his seat. He also has to vacate the official bungalow he has occupied for years by April 22.

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