Slamming the Congress for creating an unwarranted hue and cry over Rahul Gandhis ouster from the Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the former MP was not the first member to be disqualified from the legislature following conviction and suggested the grand old party to move the higher court challenging the judgement instead of blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his ouster.
Rahul Gandhi was ousted from the Parliament following his conviction by a Surat court over his derogatory remark on the 'Modi' community. Following the rule book, the Lok Sabha speaker disqualified him from the House the very next day and subsequently, Gandhi was asked to vacate his official bungalow. The Congress is trying to project the whole episode as a conspiracy against its leader and gain political mileage out of it ahead of the crucial elections in various states, but it has not appealed in any higher court so far against the conviction.
Questioning Rahul Gandhi's "arrogance" in not appealing to a higher court, Shah wondered, "Where does this arrogance generate from? Lalu Prasad, J. Jayalalithaa, and Rashid Alvi were among 17 people who lost their membership, but no one created a ruckus. This is based on the judgement of the Supreme Court; it is the law of the land. Why does the Gandhi family want a separate law for itself? People of India need to decide if we need a separate law for one family."
Speaking at News18's 'Rising India' summit, Shah said Congress' attempt to put the blame on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Rahul Gandhi's ouster is unfounded and unlikely to break any ice with the electorates since the law has only taken its course.
Refuting allegations of "vendetta" politics, Shah said Rahul Gandhi would have been saved had he not, in 2013, torn the ordinance on disqualification of MPs from the House.
"The Congress wanted to save RJD's Lalu Prasad so it brought in the ordinance. But Rahul Gandhi called it nonsense and tore it. If the law was in force today, Rahul Gandhi would have been saved," Shah said.
"Why was democracy not in danger when other MPs were disqualified? Why is he beating his chest now when he was the one who tore the ordinance," Shah asked.
Shah also slammed Rahul Gandhi for his recent remarks on Veer Savarkar. Following his disqualification, Rahul Gandhi had said, "My name is not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi and a Gandhi does not offer an apology to anyon."
Shah said Rahul Gandhi should not use such words for Savarkar who sacrificed a lot for the country. Indira Gandhi praised Savarkar a lot, Shah said, adding, "He can choose to not apologise. But then why did he furnish the bail bond?"
Shah also tore into the Opposition's charge that central agencies are being used to target them, narrating his arrest by the CBI in an encounter case when he was the Home Minister of Gujarat.
"I will tell you how agencies are misused, I have been a victim of it... Congress did not file a corruption case against us. There was an encounter when I was the Home Minister of Gujarat. A case was filed against me and I was arrested by the CBI. In 90 per cent of the questions during my interrogation, I was asked why I was getting bothered and they said they would leave me if I name Narendra Modi. Even then, we did not protest or wear black clothes or stop Parliament's functioning. An SIT was formed against Modi which the Supreme Court itself dismissed," Shah said.
"During my entire interrogation, I was told eModi ka naam de do, de do'. But why should I frame him? Because of me, several innocent police officers were put in jail. Today, the same Congress is crying over their fate. They must reflect on their behaviour," Shah said.
To a question on the party's prospect in the Assembly elections in Karnataka, Shah said BJP would comfortably cross the halfway mark in the 224-seat Karnataka Assembly and come out with a clear majority in the state that goes to polls on May 10.
The party would also do better than it did in the past in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, he said.