Hours after a Gujarat court rejected Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s application for his conviction in the “Modi surname” defamation case, which led to his disqualification as a Lok Sabha MP, he decided on Saturday to close his official bungalow in Tughlaq Lane in the to leave the center of Delhi. In the morning, people with direct knowledge of the matter told NewsMadura.
Sunday is the deadline set by the Lok Sabha housing panel for Mr Gandhi, 52, to vacate the house.
Gandhi was given a notice to leave the bungalow on March 27 after he was sentenced to two years in a defamation case by a court in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat for asking at an election rally whether people with the “Modi surname” were “thieves”.
The Lok Sabha housing panel sent the eviction notice to Mr Gandhi after his disqualification, as a convict cannot be a Member of Parliament for up to two years, as per a Supreme Court order, and by extension, he can no longer stay in the bungalow where he has been occupied since 2005.
The Gujarat court had given him 30 days to appeal, which he did, and lost today. This meant that Mr Gandhi cannot be reinstated as an MP for the time being.
His decision to leave the bungalow finally came after the latest court setback, people with knowledge of the matter told NewsMadura and asked not to be identified.
Last week, workers were seen moving around objects while two trucks were parked outside 12 Tughlaq Lane.
Mr Gandhi, who has agreed to leave the house, has been inundated with offers for a house from party leaders. His office has said that he will move to his mother Sonia Gandhi’s bungalow in the center of Delhi’s 10 Janpath.
The BJP had responded to accusations of “melodrama” by Congress over the deportation order last month. “You know the rules of decency, what is acceptable in the political system, the legal system. He (Rahul Gandhi) has been convicted by a court. Then there are automatic procedures,” said union minister Hardeep Singh Puri, referring to Mr. Gandhi’s disqualification .