BJP applauds, Cong appeals as Gujarat HC dismisses Rahul Gandhi’s plea
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ravi Shankar Prasad labelled Rahul Gandhi as a “serial offender” in defamation cases
The Gujarat High Court's decision of dismissing Rahul Gandhi's plea for a stay on his conviction in a criminal defamation case led to a political slugfest between the BJP and the Congress on Friday.
BJP MLA Purnesh Modi, who initially lodged the complaint against Gandhi, hailed the decision as a true embodiment of 'Satyamev Jayate'. He stressed that Gandhi's derogatory comments about the 'Modi' surname should give him pause for thought.
Justice Hemant Prachchhak, upholding the sessions court's decision, reiterated that the denial of a stay on Rahul Gandhi's conviction was "just and legal".
The court emphasized that a stay is an exception, not a rule, and no injustice would result from the conviction standing.
BJP leaders were quick to respond. Ravi Shankar Prasad labelled Rahul Gandhi a "serial offender" in defamation cases, and Shehzad Poonawalla urged Gandhi to apologize to the OBC community.
On the other hand, the Congress party, undeterred, signalled its intent to challenge the High Court's decision in the Supreme Court.
K C Venugopal, AICC general secretary, noted that a successful appeal could clear the way for Gandhi's reinstatement as an MP.
Further, Party's Gujarat chief Shaktisinh Gohil announced that a thorough study of the 80-90 pages judgment will be conducted before providing an official statement.
Gohil said, "A 80-90 pages of judgement is given by the Gujarat High court. After going through this and doing a thorough study, we will give an official statement today at 3 p.m.
"Technically, for something that Rahul Gandhi ji spoke in Karnataka, you can't run a matter on it in Surat.
"Abhishek Manu Singhvi will give a reaction on this today. Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as MP with lightning speed, a Gujarat MP Naranbhai Bhikhabhai Kachhadiya convicted in a criminal case had not faced the same action. Here, Rahul Gandhi has done nothing wrong and we are sure to get justice," he added.