BJP decries Rahul's 'show of strength' before court

KT NEWS SERVICE. Dated: 4/4/2023 10:10:42 AM

NEW DELHI, Apr 03: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday accused the Congress of indulging in a show of strength before a Surat court, where Rahul Gandhi filed an appeal against his conviction in a defamation case, saying it highlights his 'arrogance' and is also morally as well constitutionally wrong.
After several senior Congress leaders accompanied Gandhi when he filed the appeal in the sessions court, BJP national spokesperson and MP Sudhanshu Trivedi asked if it was a display of his arrogance, an attempt to pressure the judiciary or the 'familiar tactic' of browbeating probe agencies, a PTI report said.
A large number of Congress workers had gathered outside the court and shouted slogans in support of Gandhi.
Many of them were detained by police from the outskirts of Surat and neighbouring Navsari district while they were headed towards Surat.
Calling the former Congress president 'chhote sarkar', a mocking expression for the Gandhi family scion, Trivedi said he had a chance to close the episode by tendering a simple apology for such a 'big insult' for the Other Backward Classes.
It was the arrogance of the Congress and the Gandhi family that he decided not to apologise and then was accompanied by many party leaders and workers instead of appearing in the court in a simple manner, the BJP leader told reporters in Hindi.
"This display of strength before the court is morally and also constitutionally wrong," he said.
Many Congress leaders, including former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao and P Chidambaram, had appeared before courts without the kind of show of strength displayed by Gandhi, he added.
Earlier, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju alleged that the decision of Congress leaders to accompany Rahul Gandhi to Surat court was a way of trying to exert 'undue pressure' on the judiciary.
"My point is very simple -- why is the Congress party trying to put this kind of undue pressure on the judiciary? There are means and ways to deal with judicial matters. But is this the way?" Rijiju said while talking to reporters in the Parliament House complex in New Delhi.
However, Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge rejected the charge, saying it was a symbol of support and not a show of strength.
He said the decision was personal.
"Even in a small case, family members join and go to court. Here, it is about an entire party and he (Gandhi) is fighting for the country," Kharge told reporters.
Hitting back at Gandhi for his tweet that 'truth is my weapon and truth is my support', Trivedi said far from it, what Gandhi has underlined is his 'royal arrogance' and obstinacy after heaping insult on backward classes.
Rahul Gandhi was convicted on March 23 on a criminal complaint filed by BJP MLA Purnesh Modi for his 2019 remark at an election rally, "How come all thieves have Modi as the common surname?"
Chief Judicial Magistrate H H Varma sentenced Gandhi to two years in jail and granted him bail the same day while suspending the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court, which he did on Monday.
A day after his conviction and sentence, he was disqualified as a member of the Lok Sabha.



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