Lashing out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Modi said on Tuesday that he will file a defamation suit against Gandhi for saying ‘all thieves have Modi in their surname’. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, he asked, “Is having ‘Modi’ surname a crime these days?” and informed that he will be filing the case in the Patna High Court.
“The statement by the Congress president has hurt several people across the country with Modi surname, as he has referred to them as chor,” Sushil Modi said. The Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar tweeted earlier today saying, “Will file defamation suit against @RahulGandhi for calling all Modi’s surname CHOR.”
Campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections, Rahul Gandhi had earlier said: “Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi, Narendra Modi – they all have a common surname ‘Modi’.” He then went on to say, “How come all thieves have Modi in their surname?”
Bihar Deputy CM Sushil Modi on Rahul Gandhi’s statement ‘All thieves have Modi in their surnames’: I will file a defamation case against Rahul Gandhi in a Patna court. Is it a crime to have ‘Modi’ surname? He has referred to crores of people as ‘chor’ and hurt their sentiments. pic.twitter.com/ijc7io38MK
— ANI (@ANI) April 16, 2019
Latching on to the statement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also attacked the Congress, saying its leaders were hurling the choicest abuses at him as they were flustered by the impending loss in the Lok Sabha elections. “Is it a crime to have Modi surname? Today, the Congress Naamdar has chosen to abuse my surname. Tomorrow, he may abuse tribals,” Modi said while addressing a rally in Bhatapara in Chhattisgarh.
The statement received strong criticism from several BJP leaders. Rajasthan BJP chief Madan Lal Saini said that it is an insult to an entire community.
In a rally in Karnataka earlier this month, the Congress President also said that the Lok Sabha elections this year will be fought to choose between thieves and honest people, between the public and people like Anil Ambani and truth and fake promises.
Will file defamation suit against @RahulGandhi for calling all Modi’s surname CHOR.
— Chowkidar Sushil Kumar Modi (@SushilModi) April 15, 2019
Rahul Gandhi is already facing a criminal contempt plea filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi over his statement following the Supreme Court’s observations in the Rafale case. The Supreme Court had overruled the Centre’s objections that the documents cited by the petitioners could not be admissible as evidence in the case as they were stolen. Reacting to the ruling, Rahul Gandhi claimed vindication and suggested that the Supreme Court has admitted to corruption in the Rafale deal and said “chowkidar chor hai”. The apex court, while hearing the BJP leader’s plea, said it never said any such thing. It also sent a notice to the Congress president asking him to explain his remarks.