Pinarayi Vijayan-Rahul Gandhi | Photos: Mathrubhumi/Ridhin Damu, ANI
New Delhi/Thiruvananthapuram: In a strongly-worded statement following Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as MP, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday condemned the action of the Sangh Parivar forces which acted against the Congress leader to put silence those who speak against them.
"The intolerance towards criticism is a threat to democracy and the action taken against Gandhi must be seen in that light and all democracy loving people should come forward to oppose this," he said.
Vijayan, who is presently in Delhi to attend his party CPI-M's Politburo meeting, said this act of the Sangh Parivar forces is the latest in the series of attack on democracy.
"These forces just are unable to tolerate criticism and Gandhi made a political speech and just see the speed at which things turned against him. These forces use power to take on criticism and this is nothing but fascist way to deal with those who oppose them and the victim is none other than a tall leader of the Opposition.
"On Friday, in Delhi, opposition MPs were arrested for protesting against the actions of using national agencies on political opponents like Manish Sisodia and Gandhi. Likewise people who posted posters against the Centre in Delhi was arrested. All these does not augur well for democracy and our Constitution," he added.
Earlier on Friday, a day after his conviction in a criminal defamation case, Gandhi, the MP from Kerala's Wayanad, was on Friday disqualified from the Lok Sabha.
The Lok Sabha Secretariat in its notification, signed by Secretary General, Lok Sabha, said, "Consequent upon his conviction by the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Surat..., Rahul Gandhi, Lok Sabha MP representing Wayanad Parliamentary constituency of Kerala, stands disqualified from the membership of the lower house from the date of his conviction..."
A district court in Gujarat's Surat on Thursday convicted Gandhi in a criminal defamation case against him over his alleged 'Modi surname' remark in 2019.
Gandhi was convicted under Indian Penal Code sections 499 and 500. The maximum possible punishment under this section is two years.