Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Sunday slammed the BJP over its charge that Rahul Gandhi insulted OBCs with his remark for which he has been convicted in a criminal defamation case, wondering why the ruling party is pained if fugitives such as Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi are criticised.
Addressing a gathering at the day-long “Sankalp Satyagraha” of the Congress right outside Rajghat, Kharge also thanked all Opposition parties for standing with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress to save democracy. “This is just one satyagraha but there will be several such satyagrahas throughout the country. We will give any sacrifice that is needed to save Constitution, democracy and freedom of speech,” he said.
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‘Rahul fighting for people’
Kharge slammed the BJP for accusing Rahul of insulting OBCs through his remark in 2019. Rahul was on Thursday sentenced to two years in jail by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his “Modi surname” remark. “They talk of OBC now, is Lalit Modi OBC, is Nirav Modi OBC, is Mehul Choksi OBC, they ran away with people’s money. If they are fugitives why are you pained if they are criticised. You (BJP) punish the person who works to save the country and send those abroad who loot the country,” Kharge said.
“Rahul Gandhi is fighting for the people of this country, for the women, for the youth, fighting against unemployment and inflation,” Kharge said. He said the BJP government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi think his party is weak but they should know that “if someone tries to crush us with arrogance, we will give a befitting reply”.
“You are filing cases against him (Rahul). What he had said was in polls and was not aimed at hurting anyone but they brought a case in Surat for what was said in Kolar. If you had the guts you should have filed that case in Karnataka,” the Congress chief said.
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‘BJP wants to gag Rahul’
Kharge alleged that the BJP wants to gag Rahul as it is afraid that he will raise the Adani issue in Parliament again. All this was done because they were rattled by the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he said in an apparent reference to Gandhi’s disqualification from Lok Sabha.
“They are scared that he will raise the Adani issue in Parliament. So many speeches were given by Modi when he said terrible things about Gandhi family. He ought to have been punished in defamation cases but people are liberal. They said if one person says such things, ignore it,” he said.
He also thanked all Opposition parties that came out in Rahul Gandhi’s support following his disqualification. “I am happy that all Opposition parties are standing together with Rahulji. I want to thank them as they stood with us at such a time to save democracy. I thank them a hundred times,” he said.
(With Agency inputs)