Home for 19 years and hundreds of memories but it all ended for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as he locked his official bungalow at Tughlak Lane in New Delhi on Saturday, weeks after his disqualification from Lok Sabha.
It could have been an emotional moment but Rahul kept his smiling face, posed for photos with the staff and handed over keys to a government official. His family Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra along with Congress KC Venugopal was present there.
The former Congress chief thanked the people of India for giving him this house for 19 years. “It’s the price for speaking the truth. I am ready to pay any price for speaking the truth…," he added.
Rahul’s belongings have already been shifted from his official residence to his mother Sonia Gandhi’s house at 10 Janpath Delhi.
He was disqualified after a Gujarat court last month convicted him in a criminal defamation case concerning the surname ‘Modi’ and subsequently sentenced him to two years imprisonment. He moved a sessions court against the magistrate’s order but his plea was rejected. A relief on his conviction and disqualification could have paved the way for him to retain his official bungalow, allotted to him as a Wayanad MP. Gandhi will now move the high court against the sessions court order.
Speaking to reporters, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “Whatever my brother is saying is true. He spoke the truth about the government for which he is suffering. But we are not afraid…"
Venugopal accused the Centre of indulging in political vendetta. “They can give this house to anyone now. The way the Modi government and Amit Shah are targeting Rahul Gandhi is completely a political vendetta," he said.
The Congress said the government may “evict" Gandhi from a house but he occupies a place in the hearts and homes of crores of Indians.
The party also launched a “MeraGharAapkaGhar" campaign on social media with party leaders offering their homes to Gandhi.
The Congress said on its official Twitter handle in Hindi that “this country is the home of Rahul Gandhi. Rahul who resides in the hearts of people." “Rahul’s relation with the public is unbreakable. Some see in him their son, some brother, some their leader…. Rahul belongs to everyone and everyone belongs to Rahul. This is the reason why today the country is saying- Rahul ji, my house-your house," the Congress said, using the hashtag “#MeraGharAapkaGhar".