A day after stepping down as Congress President, Rahul Gandhi landed in Mumbai on Wednesday to appear before a Metropolitan Court in connection with the defamation case filed against him by an RSS worker.
His only engagement in Mumbai is the court hearing later this morning before he returns to New Delhi,” Mumbai Congress Chief Milind Deora said.
The Congress leader is an accused in a private defamation case filed by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) worker and lawyer Dhrutiman Joshi for allegedly linking the RSS with the murder of Bengaluru journalist Gauri Lankesh in 2017.
Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru in September 2017, allegedly by members of a right-wing extremist group.
In his plea, Joshi alleged that within 24 hours of her death, Rahul Gandhi told reporters that “anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP, against the ideology of the RSS, is pressured, beaten, attacked and even killed.”
The complainant had also filed similar complaints against senior Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, which were later dismissed.
This is the second petition filed by an RSS activist in Maharashtra against Rahul Gandhi.
Back in 2014, a local functionary, Rajesh Kunte had filed a plea against him for allegedly blaming the RSS for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, which is pending in a Bhiwandi Court in Thane.
A large number of Congress activists, along with senior leaders like Deora and Mallikarjun Kharge, gathered at Mumbai Airport to welcome Gandhi and later accompanied him to the court in Mazgaon.
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#WATCH Congress supporters gather outside Mumbai court where Rahul Gandhi has arrived in connection with a defamation case filed against him in 2017 for allegedly linking Gauri Lankesh’s murder with “BJP-RSS ideology”. He was accompanied by Mallikarjun Kharge & Milind Deora. pic.twitter.com/FtF5doIcgD
— ANI (@ANI) July 4, 2019