Mallikarjun Kharge, the president of the Congress, criticised the BJP on Sunday for claiming that Rahul Gandhi insulted OBCs with his comment, for which he was found guilty in a criminal defamation case, and questioned why the governing party would be upset if fugitives like Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi were criticised.
Speaking to a crowd at the Congress’ all-day “Sankalp Satyagraha” in front of Rajghat, Kharge also praised the opposition parties for supporting Rahul Gandhi and the Congress in their fight to preserve 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.
Kharge slammed the BJP for accusing Gandhi of insulting Other Backward Classes (OBCs) through his remark in 2019.
Gandhi 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 country and send those abroad who loot country,” Kharge said.
“Rahul Gandhi ji is fighting for the people of this country, for the women, for the youth, fighting against unemployment and inflation,” he said.
Kharge 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 on him (Gandhi). 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.
He alleged that the BJP wants to gag him as it is afraid that he will raise the Adani issue in Parliament again.
These decisions being made 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.