New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi said Thursday that her brother Rahul would never be afraid and would always speak the truth – hours after the Congress MP was handed a two-year jail term for defaming the Modi community in a 2019 comment.
Rahul has got 30 days to appeal the verdict of the Surat district court, during which his sentence will remain suspended.
The case was filed on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi after the Congress leader allegedly said: “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”
The complainant claimed the controversial remark was made at a rally at Kolar in Karnataka, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He argued the comment defamed the entire Modi community.
Soon after the sentence, Priyanka tweeted: “My brother has never been afraid, nor will he ever be. He has lived speaking the truth, and will continue to speak the truth. He will continue to raise the voice of the people of the country.”
"My brother has never been afraid, nor will he ever be. Have lived speaking the truth, will continue to speak the truth. Will continue to raise the voice of the people of the country," tweets Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra after Rahul Gandhi was found guilty in… pic.twitter.com/l1RByccUZ3
— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2023
The Congress leader said those in power are scared and had therefore unleashed their full machinery to silence Rahul Gandhi.
The Congress Party tweeted that Rahul was strengthening the voice against a “dictatorship”. It said Rahul’s courage to expose falsehoods had scared the dictators. “Kabhi ED, kabhi police, kabhi case, kabhi saza se daraney mein jutey hai… Hum ladengey aur jeetengey,” the party handle tweeted.
सबको पता है
राहुल गांधी जी तानाशाह के खिलाफ आवाज़ बुलंद कर रहे हैं। गलत को गलत कहने का साहस दिखा रहे हैं।
इस साहस से तानाशाह घबराया हुआ है। कभी ED, कभी पुलिस, कभी केस, कभी सजा से डराने में जुटा है।
राहुल गांधी जी इस मामले में न्यायसंगत अपील दायर करेंगे। हम लड़ेंगे और जीतेंगे। pic.twitter.com/wdhA7nKCR7
— Congress (@INCIndia) March 23, 2023
Congress’ Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel said there was an attempt to suppress the media and to influence the judiciary. “They are taking action against the people of different political parties at such a level,” Baghel commented.
#WATCH | There is an attempt to suppress the media, there is an attempt to influence the judiciary & they are taking action against the people of different political parties at this level: Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel on Rahul Gandhi being convicted by the Surat District Court pic.twitter.com/ybOStylCSG
— ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2023
Rahul Gandhi himself quoted Mahatma Gandhi in his response to the court sentence. “Satya mera bhagwan hai, ahimsa ussey paaney ka sadhan,” he tweeted.
मेरा धर्म सत्य और अहिंसा पर आधारित है। सत्य मेरा भगवान है, अहिंसा उसे पाने का साधन।
– महात्मा गांधी
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 23, 2023
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said: “We keep saying our democracy is in danger as there is pressure on the judiciary, the election commission, the enforcement directorate… they are all misused… Rahul Gandhi is a courageous man and only he can compete with the NDA government.”
Different units of the Congress protested across the country after Rahul’s jail verdict.
Leading a protest at headquarters Satyamurthi Bhavan in Chennai, Congress leader A.K. Gopanna said: “Such undemocratic activity of BJP is motivated by malice. It is a false case of defamation. The people are watching everything.”
Congress leader Pawan Khera, who is staring down the barrel for a remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said Thursday: “Rahul Gandhi will continue asking questions. You cannot silence us… Humein Hindustan se ishq hai, hum sawal uthatey rahengey.”
Also read: AAP supports Rahul held guilty in defamation case; Kejriwal claims ‘conspiracy’ against non-BJP leaders