Rahul Gandhi In Court Today To Challenge Conviction, BJP Says “Childish”
New Delhi/Surat: Congress president Rahul Gandhi will appear in a Gujarat court today to appeal against his conviction and two-year sentence in the 2019 defamation case.
Rahul Gandhi is set to move the Surat Sessions Court seeking annulment of the magistrate’s order convicting him in a defamation case for insulting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Sources said the former Congress leader will also seek an interim stay on the sentence to restore his Lok Sabha membership.
Senior advocate RS Seema will appear on his behalf in the court.
Mr Gandhi, who was recently disqualified as an MP after a Gujarat court order, will be accompanied by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and the chief ministers of the three Congress-ruled states, Ashok Khelat, Bhupesh Bagel and Sukhwinder Singh Suku.
He met his mother Sonia Gandhi yesterday before being produced in court.
The BJP termed Mr Gandhi’s visit to Surat as a “childish attempt” to pressure the court.
“Rahul Gandhi may go to Surat to file an appeal. A convict doesn’t need to go personally to file an appeal. Normally, no convict goes personally. He only goes personally with leaders and aides accompanying him. A drama,” Rijiju tweeted.
“What Rahul Gandhi is doing is a childish attempt to pressure the appellate court. All courts in the country are immune to such tactics,” he said in another tweet.
The 52-year-old was sentenced to two years in jail by a court in 2019 for a speech in Gujarat in which he linked Prime Minister Modi’s last name with two fugitive businessmen. .
However, the court granted him bail for 30 days to file an appeal against the verdict.
“How did all thieves get the common name Modi?” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi for saying that.
Mr Gandhi’s Wayanad constituency in Kerala is now vacant following his ouster and the Election Commission may now announce a special election for the seat.
Mr Gandhi’s disqualification order prompted a divided opposition to come together to attack the BJP for allegedly misusing the Central Intelligence Agency against members of rival parties.
The BJP said the conviction came from an independent judiciary, with party president JP Natta accusing Mr Gandhi of insulting the BJP’s core vote base, Other Backward Classes (OBCs).