India's parliament disqualifies Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

India's parliament disqualifies Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi (Web Desk/Agencies): India's parliament on Friday disqualified the leader of the main opposition Congress party, Rahul Gandhi, a day after a court jailed him for two years in a defamation case linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname.

Gandhi "stands disqualified from the membership of Lok Sabha", the statement said, referring to the lower house of parliament.

Congress members held protests in some parts of the country on Friday against Gandhi's conviction and two-year-old jail sentence.

Describing the judgment as politically motivated, Congress party officials have blamed the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

On Thursday, Gandhi was sentenced to two years in prison by Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma in Surat, Gujarat, PM Modi's home state, but was released on bail for 30 days so that he could appeal the verdict in a higher court.

The complaint was filed by Purnesh Modi, a state legislator from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for his alleged remarks while addressing an election rally in the southern state of Karnataka ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Gandhi is a scion of India's most famous political dynasty, having been the son, grandson, and great-grandson of former prime ministers.

However, in the last two general elections, his party was crushed by the Modi-led BJP.

Earlier this year, Rahul Gandhi traveled from the south to the north of the country in a nationwide march to challenge Modi, who is seeking a third consecutive term next year.