In a sharp reaction to a statement made by Rahul Gandhi after his conviction by a Gujarat court in a 2019 defamation case, the BJP on Thursday asked, “Does the Congress leader believe in truth and non-violence?”
The Surat District Court on Thursday sentenced Congress MP Rahul Gandhi to two years of imprisonment in a criminal defamation case in connection with his alleged ‘Modi surname’ remark. He was later granted bail by the court.
Soon after the verdict, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi quoted Mahatma Gandhi and said that his religion was based on truth and non-violence. “Truth is my God, non-violence the means to get it- Mahatma Gandhi,” tweeted Rahul Gandhi.
Senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Rahul Gandhi said that I believe in truth and non-violence. Does he believe in truth and non-violence?…. to insult people? To make casteist abuses… to insult the country?”
Prasad also accused Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge of contempt of court. Addressing the media at the BJP national headquarters, he said, “If Rahul Gandhi has the right to insult and abuse people with his stubbornness, then the people who are being abused also have the right to file a defamation case.”
He further said, “You will abuse, you will insult the Army of the country, you will make fun of the martyrdom of the martyrs of the country, you will insult the patriotism and national power of the country, you will insult the voters of the country and say that I am true and I believe in non-violence, how will this work?”
Reacting to the statement of Mallikarjun Kharge, Prasad said it is not a responsible statement expected from the Congress president. “… They don’t trust the court either. Does the Congress party want to keep the judiciary in its pocket as well?”
Pointing out that a court in Surat has sentenced Rahul Gandhi for two years in a defamation case, the BJP leader said, “Congress party is saying a lot on this, but it is not telling what Rahul Gandhi had said?”
“Rahul Gandhi had said in a 2019 election rally in Karnataka that why all thieves have Modi surname?”
He said even on the Rafale case, Rahul Gandhi had questioned the court’s decision and then apologised for it in the court. He said that BJP respects criticism, but Rahul Gandhi does not criticise, he defames the country, the people of the country and the democracy of the country.
Prasad told the media that Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi had also filed a case against Rahul Gandhi in the Patna court.
Meanwhile, reacting to the conviction of Rahul Gandhi in the defamation case, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju said whatever the former Congress chief speaks, it always affects the party and the entire nation in a negative way. Speaking outside Parliament, Rijiju said, “I’ll see the details of the order before I say anything. Whatever Rahul Gandhi speaks it always affects the Congress party and the entire nation in a negative way”.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Congress MP Rahul Gandhi should take the Surat Court judgement as a learning experience that “words are deadlier than weapons”. “Rahul Gandhi should accept that the harm or injury through words is deeper than those made by a sword. I would say we all should learn from this incident make sure we don’t cross the line while speaking in public,” the defence minister told a news agency.