Rahul Gandhi has chosen political battle over the legal battle in the matter concerning his remarks against the RSS – the ideological fountainhead of the ruling BJP. Facing defamation case against his contentious statement “RSS people killed Gandhiji”, the Congress vice president told Supreme Court that he stands by his statement. He was sued by the RSS after his remarks during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Withdrawing his appeal from apex court, where he sought stay of proceedings against him, Rahul Gandhi said he stands by each and every word he had said and is even willing to face a trial.
Last week in the apex court, his lawyer Kapil Sibal had cited an affidavit filed before the High Court saying Rahul Gandhi had only accused certain people of RSS and not the organisation as those who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi. This was seen as a big climb-down of sorts by the Congress No 2.
But Rahul dismissed the suggestions of him making a ‘U-turn’ in the matter and said that he stood by “every single word”.
“I will never stop fighting the hateful & divisive agenda of the RSS. I stand by every single word I said,” he had shared on the micro-blogging site Twitter reacting to the reports of his climb-down.
And on Thursday, as the RSS counsel told Supreme Court that a case against Rahul Gandhi could be withdrawn on a condition of his public apology, the latter refused.
The Congress vice president even withdrew his appeal from Supreme Court filed last year, where he had sought the quashing of criminal defamation case lodged against him for his contentious statement.
Meanwhile, the top court refused to give him exemption from personal appearance before Bhiwandi court in Maharashtra in the case.
The case was filed by one Rajesh Kunte, secretary of Bhiwandi unit of RSS, alleging that Congress vice president had sought to tarnish the reputation of the RSS through his speech. The penal provisions make defamation an offence punishable by up to a two-year jail term.
With Rahul Gandhi set to face trial, the matter will now be heard later in November in the Bhiwandi lower court.
Meanwhile, the RSS questioned the Congress leader’s U-turn and asked why he avoided trial in the case for two years.
“Then why Rahul Gandhi avoided the trial for two years under one pretext or other? Is he scared to face truth? He keeps on taking U-turns,” RSS leader Manmohan Vaidya said.