A day after stepping down as Congress President, Rahul Gandhi travelled to Maharashtra to make a personal appearance in a defamation case filed by the RSS.
Gandhi travelled to Mazgaon to appear before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Mazgaon. “The court hearing is scheduled to resume from 10 AM and RG (Rahul Gandhi) will be present during the proceedings,” one senior Congress leader close to Gandhi told Janta Ka Reporter.
He pleaded not guilty before the magistrate and was granted bail on a surety of Rs. 15,000.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Gandhi told reporters that it was a battle of ideology for him adding that he stood with the poor and the farmers. “The attacks are on. Mazaa aa raha hai (I am enjoying the fight),” Gandhi was quoted by NDTV.
He’s also likely to travel to Bihar a day later to appear in another defamation case filed by Sushil Kumar Modi, Bihar’s deputy chief minister.
Dhrutiman Joshi, a lawyer and RSS worker told news agency ANI, “Rahul Gandhi will appear before Mazgaon court tomorrow (today) in connection with a criminal defamation case that was filed against him in 2017 by me, for saying that journalist Gauri Lankesh was killed because she spoke against the RSS,”
Dhrutiman Joshi: Summons were also issued in February. Since he was busy with elections then he was given exemption by court. I had also filed complaint against CPM leader Sitaram Yechury for similar statement and he will also be summoned tomorrow. (July 3) https://t.co/nSsHSE5KG6
— ANI (@ANI) July 3, 2019
Joshi also said that summons were issued in February, but since Gandhi was busy with the Lok Sabha elections, he was given exemption by the court. He said that he had also named CPIM leader Sitaram Yechury in his complaint about a similar statement.
Gandhi on Wednesday had stunned his supporters by issuing a four-page letter reiterating his decision to step down as the Congress chief. He had also outlined his reasons for the Congress’ dismal showing in this year’s Lok Sabha polls.
A close confidante of Gandhi had told Janta Ka Reporter that Motilal Vohra will become the interim chief of the Congress party since he was the senior most General Secretary. “But he will remain the interim President only till the next meeting of the CWC as per the Congress Constitution. He is not becoming President,” the Gandhi aide had added.