An official stated on Monday that the US is keeping an eye on Rahul Gandhi’s legal proceedings and that the US and India have “shared commitments to democratic norms, including freedom of expression.”
At around 11.40 p.m. IST, Vedant Patel, the deputy spokeswoman for the US State Department, was questioned about the expulsion of the Congress lawmaker from the Parliament and whether he thought that was in keeping with democratic principles.
“Respect for the rule of law and judicial independence is a cornerstone of any democracy, and we’re watching Mr Gandhi’s case in Indian courts, and we engage with the Government of India on our shared commitment to democratic values – including, of course, freedom of expression,” Patel said.
“In our engagements with our Indian partners, we continue to highlight the importance of democratic principles and the protection of human rights, including freedom of expression, as a key to strengthening both our democracies,” he added.
After that, Patel was questioned if Gandhi, the head of the opposition, is still receiving support from the US. “It is normal and standard for us to engage with members of opposition parties in any country where we have bilateral relationships,” replied Patel.
Gandhi was convicted guilty of criminal defamation in a 2019 case on March 23 and given a two-year prison term. The leader of the Congress is now free on bail. Gandhi’s comment that “why all robbers have Modi surname” was made during a campaign rally in Karnataka prompted the filing of the complaint. He was removed from the Lok Sabha the next day as of the date of his conviction in the case.
Indian opposition groups increased their onslaught against the Narendra Modi administration. On Monday, three days after Congressman Rahul Gandhi was expelled from the Lok Sabha, they marked a “black day for democracy.”
To defend Gandhi’s statements against the OBC minority, Congress is accused by the BJP of engaging in “low-level politics,” which is rejected by the BJP.