The Congress on Friday said it would approach the Supreme Court over the Gujarat High Court order dismissing party leader Rahul Gandhi's plea for a stay on his conviction in the case over his "Modi surname" remark, and said nothing will deter Gandhi or the party from their mission to unite the nation.
AICC general secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal was addressing a party programme organised in Kozhikode district, seeking to restore peace in the strife-torn northeastern state of Manipur, when he spoke about Gandhi's defamation case and the Congress's response to the court verdict.
He said there was "no surprise" in the verdict against Gandhi from the Gujarat court, and added, "There is one more option before us...the Supreme Court. Let's see. The Congress party will seek that option too".
His statement came soon after the Gujarat High Court dismissed Gandhi's plea and upheld the order of the lower court, describing it as "just, proper and legal".
"How can we believe that justice will come from a state like Gujarat in present times? One thing that all those who write the verdicts and those who prepare the ground for such verdicts should understand is that Rahul Gandhi is a leader who cannot be broken by any judgment or disqualification," Venugopal said during the meeting.
Later, addressing the press, Venugopal said none of the judgments will deter Gandhi or the Congress party from their mission to unite the nation.
"Rahul Gandhi and the Congress will carry forward the task of uniting the people of the country... It has been five or six months since the initial judgment and the punishment. Was he afraid and silent," Venugopal asked.
He also said that Gandhi will overcome all these issues.
"The case started when the Adani-Modi relationship was exposed. We didn't know Adani was so powerful...," Venugopal told the reporters.
A stay of the conviction would have paved way for Gandhi's reinstatement as a Member of Parliament.
A metropolitan magistrate's court in Surat on March 23 sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail after convicting him under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 and 500 (criminal defamation) in a 2019 case filed by BJP Gujarat MLA Purnesh Modi.
The MLA had filed a criminal defamation case against Gandhi over his "how come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?" remark made during an election rally at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019.
- With PTI Input