Wednesday, Dec 06, 2023

Modi Surname Defamation Case: Congress Stands With Rahul Gandhi, BJP Presses For Apology As Gujarat High Court Upholds Conviction

Modi Surname Defamation Case: Congress Stands With Rahul Gandhi, BJP Presses For Apology As Gujarat High Court Upholds Conviction

The Gujarat High Court has upheld the conviction of Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case related to a speech in which he had, 'How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?'

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi PTI

After the Gujarat High Court held the conviction of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the Modi surname defamation case, the party stood with its leader and said it would approach the Supreme Court.

As Congress leaders came out in support of Rahul and staged protests against the Gujarat High Court's order, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) welcomed the order and pressed for an apology. 

Earlier on Friday, the Gujarat High Court upheld the conviction of Rahul in a defamation case related to a speech in which he had, "How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?" Rahul was sentenced to two years in the case and is currently out on bail. He was also disqualified as a Member of Parliament following the sentencing under the provisions of Representation of People Act, 1951.

Here are the various reactions to the Gujarat High Court order.

Congress will go to Supreme Court, calls Rahul's suspension as MP a conspiracy

The Congress said that the party will persuade the defamation case in the Supreme Court. 

AICC General Secretary (Organisation) KC Venugopal said, "There is one more option before us... the Supreme Court. Let's see. The Congress party will seek that option too."

He further tweeted, "We will study the Gujarat HC verdict on Sh. Rahul Gandhi ji’s conviction and explore all available legal options. Rahul ji is a fierce voice that takes the Modi government head on. No force can silence him, the truth will triumph and justice will ultimately prevail. Every patriotic Indian is in support of Rahul ji in this fight."

BJP used lies to get Rahul Gandhi suspended from Parliament: Kharge

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge said that the BJP used a conspiracy of lies to get Rahul suspended from the Lok Sabha, according to PTI.

Rahul was suspended from the Lok Sabha under the provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1951, which says that a lawmaker sentenced to not less than two years will be disqualified. Since Rahul was sentenced to two years, he was suspended from the Lok Sabha as per the law.

"He alleged that the BJP has used 'lies' as part of a political conspiracy to get Rahul Gandhi suspended from Parliament, asserting that the Congress leader has been fighting for truth and will continue his fight," reported PTI.

Kharge tweeted, "Shri Rahul Gandhi has always fought for the truth, and will continue to fight in the future. The truth is that fugitives like Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Mehul 'Bhai', Vijay Mallya, Jatin Mehta, under the supervision of the Modi government fled the country and reached abroad suspiciously after taking public money.

"The BJP freed them, but used lies as part of a political conspiracy, put Mr. Rahul Gandhi in the dock and got him suspended from Parliament."

In BJP's rule, firstly the corrupt people run away, and on the other hand Modi ji's party plays the game of "grabbing power by washing those accused of corruption in its washing machine as part of BJP's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan", said Kharge.

He further said, "The country is now well aware of Modi ji's double standards on corruption. None of the Congress leaders, none of our workers are afraid of this political conspiracy. We will fight both the political and the legal battle. Satyamev Jayate."

Congress leaders stage protest after Gujarat HC order

After the Gujarat High Court upheld Rahul'conviction, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Deputy CM TS Singh Deo staged a sit-in protest.

Deo told PTI, "There is no question of insult to the OBC community.  Rahul Gandhi's remarks were specifically against some people, and those remarks were made during election rally. We don't agree with the court verdict and will appeal further."

Very unfortunate justice hasn't prevailed: DK Shivakumar

Karnataka Deputy CM DK Shivakumar told ANI, "Very unfortunate that justice has not prevailed. It is the murder of democracy. Still, the entire country & the Opposition parties stand by Rahul Gandhi. He is a great leader who is fighting across the country to unite it...BJP leaders are not able to tolerate this. They want to block him from Parliament...I feel he (Rahul Gandhi) will grow stronger."

Such judgements don’t give positive sense of judicial architecture: Manoj Jha

Rashtriya Kanata Dal (RJD) MP Manoj Jha told PTI, "These kinds of judgements don’t give a very positive sense of judicial architecture."

 BJP is destroying democratic structure: Lalan Singh

JD(U) national president Lalan Singh said, "BJP is destroying the democratic structure of the country. If they continue to stay (in power), they will bring dictatorship in the country."

BJP seeks apology from Rahul Gandhi

The BJP welcomed the Gujarat High Court order and said if Congress questions the harsh punishment for Rahul's comment, it should also ask why he spoke so harshly.

"The Gujarat High Court order is worthy of welcome. The Congress can now say that why the court has given such a harsh punishment to Rahul Gandhi. To that, we would reply that why Rahul Gandhi committed such a harsh offence," said BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad in Hindi.

Prasad further raised Rahul's denial to apologise and comment that he would not apologise since he is not Savarkar.

"I want to ask Congress that why can't it control Rahul Gandhi? Why can't it train him to speak right? When given a chance by the trial court in Surat to apologise, Rahul Gandhi rather chose to remark, 'I am not Savarkar that I will apologise'. This truly shows the extent of hatred, Rahul has against a great patriot of the country," said Prasad.

Rahul Gandhi should apologise: Shehzad Poonawalla

BJP leader  Shehzad Poonawalla told ANI, "Congress party and Rahul Gandhi received a shock once again today. After Sessions Court, Gujarat High Court also showed them a mirror. They insult the OBC community and then instead of apologising, they act out of arrogance...Rahul Gandhi should apologise to the OBC community but instead of that, either his party workers threaten the judge or Congress party questions the judiciary."

Anil K Antony asks Rahul to apologise, calls him 'serial offender'

BJP Anil K Antony, the son of Congress leader AK Antony, said that the Rahul should apologise for his comments. He also called him a "serial offender".

He tweeted, "As said many times earlier - RahulGandhi should apologise for his blunder of calling a whole community thieves while he was futilely attempting  to personally abuse H’ble PM Narendra Modi ji.  

"As the high court mentioned today - at least 10 other cases including that filed by the grand son of the great freedom fighter Vir Savarkar are still being heard in various benches. Dramatics won’t save anyone including the serial offender Rahul Gandhi in front of the law. Still time to repent and apologise."