Opening up on his disqualification as a member of the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said he was “the first to be given the highest punishment for a defamation case”.Taking questions from journalists during a free-wheeling conversation at the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday, Rahul invoked the timing of his disqualification from Parliament, claiming that it came after his speech on the Adani-Hindenburg row in the Lok Sabha.”…I asked a rhetorical question… I am the first person in India to be given the highest punishment for a defamation case, in history, since 1947. Nobody has been given a maximum sentence that too on the first offence. That should explain what’s going on to you and my disqualification happens quite interestingly after my speech about Adani in Parliament, so you can do the math,” Rahul Gandhi said.Putting forth his point of view on a range of issues during a conversation at the National Press Club in Washington DC, Rahul said his party was in touch with fellow Opposition forces.Responding to ANI’s question on Opposition unity, Rahul said his party was holding regular dialogue with all the Opposition parties, adding that “quite a lot of good work is happening” in that regard.”The opposition is pretty well united, and it’s getting more & more united. We are having conversations with all the Opposition (parties). I think quite a lot of good work is happening there. It’s a complicated discussion because there are spaces where we are competing with the Opposition. So a bit of give and take is required. But I am confident that it (a grand Opposition alliance against the BJP at the Centre) will happen,” Rahul said.Over the course of his ongoing visit to the US, the Congress leader will visit San Francisco, Washington DC and New York.