Rahul Gandhi | Photo: PTI
New Delhi: Stressing on opposition unity, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Saturday said going forward, the parties will have to work together and noted that the ruling dispensation has given them a "big weapon" by disqualifying him.
He also thanked various opposition parties for extending their support to him following his conviction in a defamation case and disqualification from the Lok Sabha, and said the action against him would help the parties.
"I thank all the opposition parties who supported me. We all have to work together," he told reporters during his first press conference after the disqualification.
Asked about the consequences of his disqualification, Gandhi said the Opposition will benefit the most from this "panic reaction of Prime Minister Modi".
"They got into panic mode that the truth will come out. They have handed over the biggest weapon to the Opposition because people have a question on their mind, they know Adani is corrupt, and question is why is the prime minister saving this corrupt person," he alleged.
Leaders of several opposition parties, including the TMC, AAP and the BRS, rallied around Rahul Gandhi after he was disqualified from Lok Sabha following his conviction by a Gujarat court, and accused the BJP of doing "vindictive politics".
The Lok Sabha Secretariat on Friday disqualified Gandhi as MP from Wayanad in Kerala, a day after the Surat court convicted him in the 2019 criminal defamation case for his remark "How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?"
Earlier, the Congress welcomed the statements of opposition leaders who condemned Rahul Gandhi's disqualification, and said it was time for the party to take on the job of building opposition unity in a "systematic way".
It further said that it had been coordinating with various opposition parties in Parliament and the coordination now has to be outside the two Houses as well.
"There was a consensus that we should now take the job of building opposition unity in a systematic way. Every day, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge has been meeting floor leaders of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. So we are coordinating in Parliament and now coordination has to be outside Parliament," Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said after a meeting of the party's top brass, including its president Kharge and former AICC chief Sonia Gandhi.
"It is also heartening to note that parties which were not part of this floor coordination in Parliament have now issued public statements condemning this action of disqualification of Rahul Gandhi," Ramesh said on Friday, adding that the Congress welcomes the statement of support of all opposition leaders. PTI