Rahul Gandhi Sentenced to 2 Years in Jail Over Modi Surname Remarks

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Rahul Gandhi has been sentenced to two years in jail for his remarks on the “Modi” surname in 2019. Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal also shared that he disagreed with the verdict. The original complaint was filed by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.

The incident took place in 2019 ahead of the Lok Sabha elections when Rahul Gandhi seemingly targeted PM Modi and his last name by saying, “How come all thieves have the common surname Modi?” hinting that fugitive businessmen Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi have the same surname. Following the remark, BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi filed a complaint stating Mr. Gandhi defamed the entire Modi community.

A court in Gujarat’s Surat has now found Mr. Gandhi guilty and has sentenced him to two years in prison. However, he has been granted bail and his sentence has been suspended for 30 days allowing him to appeal the court’s decision. For the verdict, the member of the Lok Sabha visited Surat in the day and then went back to Delhi in the evening.

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Notably, he saw support from opposition party leader Arvind Kejriwal who claimed that BJP is trying to get rid of all non-BJP leaders. “A conspiracy is being hatched to eliminate non-BJP leaders and parties by prosecuting them. We have differences with the Congress, but it is not right to implicate Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case like this. It is the job of the public and the opposition to ask questions. We respect the court but disagree with the decision.”

Mr. Gandhi’s lawyer Kirit Panwala feels the court proceedings were “flawed” from the start and that PM Modi should have been the one to file the complaint as he was the main target of the comment, and not Purnesh Modi.

Vineet Washington

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