Savarkar Remark: Will Rahul Gandhi Face 2nd Defamation Case?

Mumbai: Convicted by a lower court in Gujarat for a 2019 defamation case speech in which he was found to have insulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi may face more trouble.

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Saturday hit out at Rahul for “defaming” late Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and demanded action against him.

The Congress leader again took a swipe at the BJP and RSS when asked if he could have escaped conviction and two-year prison sentence had he apologised for his remarks.

“My name in not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi. Gandhis don’t apologise to anyone,” Rahul, who was disqualified as the MP from Wayanad, said during a press briefing today.

Last November, during the Maharashtra leg of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul had claimed that Savarkar would write mercy petitions to be freed from Andaman cellular jail and accepted a pension from the British as he had helped them during the freedom struggle.

The Maharashtra CM said in the Legislative Assembly that Rahul has insulted the OBC community and Hindutva ideologue Savarkar, and should be punished.

“Rahul Gandhi has been convicted and stands automatically disqualified as a member of Lok Sabha. But he continues to insult VD Savarkar by saying that he is not Savarkar that he’ll apologise. Who does he think he is? He must be punished,” Shinde demanded, stepping up the attack on the senior Congress leader.

“He is continuing to speak in the same tone and I want to tell him that if he continues to do so, it will be difficult for him to walk on the road,” Shinde warned.

On March 23, a lower court in Surat found Rahul guilty for a speech in 2019 in which he asked, “Why do all thieves have Modi as their surname?” He was obviously referring to the PM, fugitive diamond tycoon Nirav Modi and banned former IPL chairman Lalit Modi.

Rahul was convicted under Section 500 of IPC, which provides for imprisonment of up to 2 years, and later released him on bail. The court suspended the sentence for 30 days on Rahul’s plea to allow him appeal against the ruling.

On March 24, the Lok Sabha secretariat issued an order disqualifying Rahul as a Mamber of Parliament.

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