RSS defamation case: In a major worry for Rahul Gandhi, a magistrate court at Bhiwandi in Thane has framed charges against the Congress President in connection with a criminal defamation case filed by Rajesh Kunte of RSS. According to reports, charges framed under section IPC 499 and 500. However, Gandhi has pleaded not guilty yesterday even as he dared BJP and RSS to slap case against him. He also lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over an array of issues.
“Our fight is against the policies of the prime minister. Farmers are frustrated and the prime minister does not talk about employment for youth. This government is only for the rich,” Gandhi told reporters outside the Bhiwandi court.
Gandhi is in Maharashtra for two days, starting on Tuesday. The court had on May 2 asked Gandhi to appear before it today to record his plea in the defamation case filed by RSS worker Rajesh Kunte in 2014. Kunte had filed the case after watching Rahul Gandhi’s speech at an election rally in which he had claimed that the RSS was behind the killing of Mahatma Gandhi.
“The RSS people had killed (Mahatma) Gandhi,” the Congress president had allegedly said in the rally. Gandhi, however, has continued his attack on RSS, saying it wanted to silence all voices in the country, barring its own, and destroy the Constitution. “Barring their (RSS) own, they want to silence all other voices, destroy the Constitution and do away with the freedom of the constitutional bodies,” Gandhi was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the Seva Dal.
Maharashtra visit schedule
Apart from appearing in the court, Rahul Gandhi is also expected to address party workers and interact with its corporators in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. On Wednesday, he is scheduled to meet the kin of Dadaji Khobragade, the rural inventor who revolutionised rice farming, at Chandrapur in Vidarbha, before returning to Delhi. Khobragade, 78, died earlier this month after a prolonged illness.
No meeting with Sharad Pawar
Earlier there were media reports that Gandhi may meet NCP supremo Sharad Pawar during this visit. However, Gandhi’s official itinerary doesn’t mention any meeting, PTI reported. “Top leaders (of both the parties) can meet any time. But no such meeting is on the agenda today,” a Congress leader said.