Other Gandhis Who Faced Disqualification As MP; 16 Since Independence With One RS Member From Odisha

OB Bureau

Bhubaneswar: A day after being convicted by a Surat court for his controversial remark on the ‘Modi’ surname in 2019, Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha.

However, he is not first member of the Gandhi family to have lost their membership.

On November 18, 1977, Indira Gandhi was expelled from the Lok Sabha after the then PM Morarji Desai himself presented a motion against her for insulting government officials during her tenure and for misuse of office. The motion of expulsion was later rescinded by the House.

Though not expelled, Sonia Gandhi had to resigned from the Lok Sabha in 2006 after being accused of holding an office of profit by being a Member of Parliament as well as the Chairperson of the National Advisory Council formed during the UPA government, the latter being a post with the rank of a Cabinet minister.

According to Article 102 (1)(a) of the Constitution, a person shall be disqualified as MP for holding any office of profit under the government of India or the government of any state, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder.

Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan, who also held the post of the Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Corporation. was the first to be disqualified by the Election Commission under the office of profit saga that year.

Notably, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and industrialist Anil Ambani also faced complaints of holding office of profit when they were lawmakers. The UPA government brought in an amendment to exclude NAC chairmanship from the office of profit list.

However, HG Mudgal was the first MP to have been expelled from Lok Sabha on September 25, 1951 over accepting money for favours in Parliament. He had allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs. 2,000 to lobby for the Bombay Bullion Merchants Association and was exposed by another Congressman Feroze Gandhi.

In a letter sent out to all chief ministers, the then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru had said, “Parliament viewed the conduct of Mr Mudgal with extreme disfavour. There has been a tendency in the past not only in Parliament but probably in the State Legislatures also, not to keep to proper standards of behaviour. The Mudgal case is an example and a warning and there must be no laxity shown when any such matter arises. If once the reputation of our legislatures goes down, then democracy itself will be in peril. Therefore the reputation of these legislatures as also of our services, must be strictly guarded and any misbehaviour should lead to enquiry and action,’’

On November 15, 1976, Subramanian Swamy, then a Sangh leader, was expelled from the Rajya Sabha after a House panel found his conduct derogatory to the dignity of the House.

In December 2005, 11 MPs, including one from Rajya Sabha, were expelled after a ‘cash-for-query’ sting operation by a private television channel. They were caught on camera accepting money for raising questions in the House. Among them was BJP MP Chhattrapal Singh Lodha, who was elected to Rajya Sabha from Odisha.

The 10 Lok Sabha members were Annasahed M K Patil, Y G Mahajan, Suresh Chandel, Pradeep Gandhi and Chandra Pratap Singh (all BJP), Narendra Kumar Kushwaha, Lal Chandra Kol and Rajaram Pal (all BSP), Manoj Kumar (RJD) and Ramsevak Singh (Cong).

In May 2016, beleaguered Industrialist Vijay Mallya was expelled from Rajya Sabha after the Ethics Committee of the Rajya Sabha found that he had not declared changes in his assets and liabilities for 10 years.


OB Bureau

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