Imphal: In a major political development, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison on Thursday in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surname by a court in Gujarat’s Surat. However, he was granted bail and his sentence was suspended for 30 days to let him appeal the decision.
Meanwhile, denouncing the two years jail term awarded to Congress leader and MP Rahul Gandhi, workers of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) took to the street and staged a sit-in-protest at the gate of the Congress Bhawan here on Thursday.
The protesters held placards reading “Rahul Gandhi for truth against falsehood”, “We are Gandhis, we are not Savarkar in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi” during the protest. The agitators also shouted slogans and tried to take out a mass rally but police personnel deployed there foiled the bid.
Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of the protest, MPCC Senior Spokesperson N. Bupenda Meitei said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was sentenced to two years in jail in a defamation case. The Congress party will further approach the higher court against the verdict.
He said that the Congress party has been urging the Modi government to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe into Modi-Adani relationship but the Saffron regime remained silent till date.
He said that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wrote a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker to give permission to speak the truth in the Parliament but Rahul has been denied to speak in the Parliament till date. Threats cannot stop Congress from speaking the truth, he added.
He said that the congress party is carrying out an agitation in solidarity with Rahul Gandhi but the administration and State police personnel under the BJP led Government have stopped the agitation, he said, contending that the meaning of democracy has lost its place in the country.
Bupenda said that the Congress leader has been fighting for truth and for the entire poor and needy people of the country and the State, but unfortunately the present BJP government is trying to silence the Congress leader.
Rahul Gandhi is a leader who cannot be intimidated by this manner using any sort of Central agencies under the BJP led-Government both in Centre and State. Any bid to silence the whistle blowers is a pure sign of making mockery of democracy, Bupenda added.
He said that Rahul Gandhi has not been allowed to speak both inside and outside the Parliament
and his voice has been scuttled but the Congress party firmly believes that Rahul Gandhi will fight for the truth until his last breath for
the entire people of the country.
It may be mentioned that the defamation case against Rahul Gandhi was filed by BJP MLA and former
Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi for saying “How come all thieves have the common surname Modi?”
The Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad made the remarks while addressing a rally in Karnataka ahead of
the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, targetting PM Modi over his last name which he shares with fugitive
businessmen Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi.
Rahul Gandhi arrived in Surat earlier in the day for the verdict and was received by top leaders of the
Congress’s Gujarat unit. He returned to Delhi in the evening. Supporters and members of the party turned out at various spots in Surat as a show of strength and support for Gandhi, with posters extolling him as ‘Sher-e-Hindustan’ (Lion of India) and placards declaring that the “Congress will not bow before the dictatorship of the BJP” on display.
The court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma had last week concluded hearing final arguments
from both sides and said it was ready to pronounce its judgment in the four-year-old defamation case,
Gandhi’s lawyer Kirit Panwala had said.
“Truth is put to test and is harassed, but truth alone prevails. Several false cases have been filed against
Gandhi, but he will emerge from all these. We will get justice,” said senior Congress leader and MLA
Arjun Modhwadia on Thursday.