By LE Desk
Surat, June 24, 2021: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi told a court in Gujarat that his remarks on “Modi surname” during an election rally in 2019 was nothing but “sarcasm”. Rahul Gandhi appeared before a magisterial court in Surat to defend himself in a defamation suit that was filed by a Gujarat BJP MLA.
“I didn’t mean to target any community. I just played sarcasm during the elections. I don’t remember much about this,” Rahul Gandhi said, reported India Today.
At an election rally held at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019, Rahul Gandhi had reportedly asked, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi… how come they all have Modi as the common surname. How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”
Rahul Gandhi was the Congress president when he had made this remark.
BJP MLA Purnesh Modi had filed a complaint against Rahul Gandhi in April 2019 under IPC sections 499 and 500 that deal with defamation. In his complaint, the MLA from Surat-West seat had alleged that Rahul Gandhi had defamed the entire Modi community by saying “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” while addressing a poll rally in 2019.
The court, while admitting the suit, had held that there was a prima facie case of criminal defamation against the Lok Sabha member from Wayanad.
Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had appeared before the court in October 2019 and had pleaded not guilty for his comment.
A week back, Surat’s Chief Judicial Magistrate AN Dave directed Gandhi to remain present in the court on June 24 to record his final statement in the case.
Following this, Rahul Gandhi appeared before the court on Thursday and clarified that he didn’t mean to target any community with his comment.
Now, the matter has been posted for hearing on July 12.