First to be given max defamation sentence: Rahul

Rahul, who is on a six-day visit to the US, was addressing Indian students at Stanford University in California.

Published: 02nd June 2023 09:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2023 09:19 AM   |  A+A-


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi speaks during an interactive session at Stanford University, in California, USA. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said he was perhaps the first person to be awarded the maximum sentence for defamation, adding his disqualification from Parliament gave him a huge opportunity to serve the people.

Rahul, who is on a six-day visit to the US, was addressing Indian students at Stanford University in California. “Probably, I am the first person to be given the maximum sentence on defamation to get disqualified. I didn’t imagine something like this was possible,” he said.

“But it has actually given me a much bigger opportunity than I would have had in Parliament.” The ex-Congress chief was disqualified as Lok Sabha MP on March 24 after being sentenced to two years in jail for his Modi slur during an election speech in Kolar.

“I don’t think when I joined politics in 2004, I ever imagined what I see going on now in the country,” he said. On the rocky Sino-Indian ties, he said China has occupied Indian territories but India cannot be pushed around. “It’s tough right now.

They’ve occupied some of our territory. It’s not too easy a relationship.” Responding to a query on the ties with Russia, he said he was on the same page as the Centre. “We have certain dependencies on Russia. So, I would have a similar stance as the Government of India.... We will have better relationships with some, evolving relationships with others,” he said.


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