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Defamation case ideological fight: Congress

Soon after Rahul’s lawyer Kapil Sibal informed the Supreme Court about his wish, the Congress went into active mode.

rahul gandhi, congress, mahatma gandhi, real hindu, congress campaign, rahul gandhi amethi, rss remark, rahul rss remark, rss coward, supreme court, mahatma gandhi killing, gandhi assasination, bjp, uttar pradesh elections 2017, up polls Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

With Rahul Gandhi opting to face trial as an accused in a defamation case over his remarks on the RSS, an influential section of the Congress is of the view that the case should be turned into a political battle.

Soon after Rahul’s lawyer Kapil Sibal informed the Supreme Court about his wish, the Congress went into active mode. Sibal said the outcome of the larger battle with the RSS would prove “who is the real Hindu”.

The Congress, he said, believes that a “true Hindu could never have killed Mahatma Gandhi. And the RSS should now tell us whether Nathuram Godse was a true Hindu or not because if he was a true Hindu, he would never have killed Gandhi.”

Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said, “This is an ideological fight that the Congress and the people of this country have fought for decades together… this fight is against the forces of division that want to polarise India based on their own coloured vision of religion, which is neither correct nor appropriate.”

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WATCH VIDEO: Making Sense Of Rahul Gandhi’s Decision To Now Face Trial In The RSS Remark Case

 

He said Rahul had given clear instructions to Sibal to state in court that he “stands by” his statement. Rahul’s stand, he said, had “re-established” the “foundational principle” of the Congress, which has always believed in the secular character of India.

Surjewala, however, could not give a satisfactory answer on what prompted Rahul to move the Supreme Court seeking relief if he and the party believed it was an ideological battle. He said Rahul moved court because there was a flaw in the summoning order by the trial court and no case under Section 499 and 500 was made out over his statement.

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Sibal said the legal fight on whether Rahul’s statement was defamatory in nature will be fought in the courts, but it is not legal battle alone. “It is a political battle because it will determine the future of India,” he said.

Many in the Congress had argued that Rahul should not be defensive and were perturbed by the perception that he had made a U-turn on his statement. Meanwhile, the party continued to argue that Godse was an RSS worker. Surjewala quoted a book written by Godse’s brother Gopal Godse in which “he has clearly stated that… Nathuram was a boudhik pramukh of Sangli shakha of RSS in Maharashtra”.

First published on: 02-09-2016 at 12:21:38 am
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