SURAT: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday arrived in Surat and recorded his statement before the magisterial court in ‘Modi surname’ defamation case filed by the BJP MLA Purnesh Modi. After recording his statement, Rahul Gandhi left for Delhi.
In his statement to Surat magisterial court in the defamation case, Rahul Gandhi said that in his poll speech he had indeed mentioned Modi surname, but that was specifically referring to prime minister Narendra Modi and had no intention to defame any particular community or anyone else.
The Congress MP had arrived at the Surat court earlier this morning to record his further statement in a defamation case filed against him.
Gujarat: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi arrives at Surat court to defend himself in a criminal defamation case over the ‘Modi surname’ remark pic.twitter.com/odl2eynsVT
— ANI (@ANI) June 24, 2021
Rahul Gandhi is defending himself over his ‘Modi surname’ remark, against which Surat West legislator from BJP, Purnesh Modi had filed a complaint in April 2019 under IPC sections 499 and 500. Rahul Gandhi is being represented in the case by advocate Kirit Panwala.
“Rahul Gandhi recorded his final statement with the court today. He said that his mentioning of the Modi surname was just to show the misdeeds of PM Narendra Modi and not to defame anyone else or a particular community. Besides, as far as he knew, there wasn`t any community named Modi,” Kirit Panwala, Gandhi`s advocate, was quoted as saying by IANS.
“Gandhi said to the court that as a leader from the opposition it was his duty to highlight the misdeeds of the prime minister and that indeed he did by mentioning his surname, but as far as any other Modi was concerned, he never had any intention of defaming him or her,” added Panwala.
Importantly, a week ago, Chief Judicial Magistrate of Surat AN Dave had directed Rahul Gandhi to remain present on June 24 to record his final statement in the case.
The Congress leader had reportedly made the remark during campaigning for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While addressing an election rally at Kolar on April 13, 2019, he had reportedly said, “I have a question. Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don`t know how many more such Modis will come out.”
His party colleague Shaktisinh Gohil had defended Rahul Gandhi and said that the party in power should tolerate criticism by the opposition.
“In a democracy, the party in power should tolerate criticism by the opposition. Rahul ji had said Lalit Modi and Nirav Modi are thieves and Narendra Modi is a failure. BJP connected his statement to the Modi community and insulted them,” said Shaktisinh Gohil, a Congress leader.
Senior party leader Ahmed Patel also backed Gandhi and said, “Let the law takes its own course.”