Following senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's conviction by a Surat court in a criminal defamation case on Thursday, the party has planned mega protests in the coming days, taking all like-minded parties along.
Congress President and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, has called a meeting of the opposition parties on Friday, following which the MPs will march to the Vijay Chowk. On Friday evening, all the state Congress Presidents and legislative party leaders have been called for a meeting to chalk out plans for nation-wide protests.
According to sources, the Congress leadership has also sought time to meet President Droupadi Murmu on this issue.
The decisions were taken at a meeting of Congress MPs and steering committee members held at Kharge's residence.
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said, "This is not just a legal issue, but political as well since the ruling party wants to intimidate the opposition leaders."
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On Thursday morning, Rahul Gandhi was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname. The Congress leader, however, was granted bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days to allow him to appeal the Surat court verdict.
The case was filed against Rahul Gandhi by BJP MLA and ex-Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi for saying "how come all thieves have the common surname Modi" while campaigning in Karnataka ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "This government is clearly relying on one set of tactics to throttle opposition voices inside the Parliament, and a second set of tactics outside it. So if you say something outside the Parliament, they wouldn't allow the House to run."