Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has put out his first reaction on social media after a Gujarat court awarded him a two-year prison sentence on Thursday -March 23 by finding him guilty in a criminal defamation case that was filed by Gujarat BJP MLA Purnesh Modi. The case pretained to Rahul Gandhi's remark about the 'Modi' surname during an election campaign in 2019.
Though the court granted bail to Rahul Gandhi soon after pronouncing a prison sentence, the verdict has sparked a new round of protests from the Congress and as the verdict had drawn a swift attention, the protests from the Congress state units across the country have been taking place rampantly. Reacting to the verdict, Rahul Gandhi has quoted a saying of Mahatma Gandhi that 'my religion is based on truth and non-violence'.
Taking to Twitter, Rahul Gandhi wrote in Hindi, "My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God, non-violence the means to get it - Mahatma Gandhi." The Congress leaders across the nation have been sharply reacting to the verdict of incarcerating Rahul Gandhi for two years. Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said, "He has been granted bail. We knew from the beginning because they kept changing judges. We believe in law, judiciary and we will fight against this as per law."
Reacting to the verdict, Congress leader and Gujarat MLA Arjun Modhwadia said, "Truth is put to test and is harassed, but truth alone prevails. Several false cases have been filed against Gandhi, but he will emerge from all these. We will get justice." Congress spokesperson Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter and wrote, "This is new India. If you raise your voice against injustice, then ED- CBI, Police, FIR will be imposed on everyone."
"Rahul Gandhi Ji is also being punished for speaking the truth, for raising his voice against dictator. The law of the country gives an opportunity to appeal to Rahul Gandhi, he will execise this right. We are not afraid", Ramesh added. Chief Minister of Congress ruling Chattisgarh, Bhupesh Baghel said, "There is an attempt to suppress the media, there is an attempt to influence the judiciary & they are taking action against the people of different political parties at this level."
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said, "We keep saying our democracy is in danger as there is pressure on judiciary, ECI, ED & they're all misused. All decisions are made under influence. Such comments are common... Rahul Gandhi is a courageous man & only he can compete with NDA govt." Rahul Gandhi's sister Priyanka cited that the entire government machinery is trying to suppress Rahul Gandhi's voice.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter and wrote, "There is a conspiracy to eliminate non-BJP leaders and parties by prosecuting them. We have differences with the Congress, but it is not right to implicate Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case like this. It is the job of the public and the opposition to ask questions. We respect the court but disagree with the decision."
Reacting to the verdict, BJP MLA Purnesh Modi, who filed the complaint against Rahul Gandhi, said, "I welcome the judgment of the court." Immediately after the verdict was pronounced, the court granted bail for Rahul Gandhi and suspended the prison sentence. The court has also granted thirty days time to Rahul Gandhi to move an appeal against the prison sentence.
Must-read: TNS Explainer: Why Rahul Gandhi was awarded 2-year jail term and what's in the court verdict?