Rahul Gandhi pays homage to martyr Kushal Konwar
in Guwahati on Thursday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Sept. 29: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi today appeared in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Kamrup (metro), in a criminal defamation case filed by an RSS activist.
Rahul, who wore a pair of blue jeans, a white kurta and sports shoes, reached the court premises with PCC leaders at 10.10am and spent nearly half-an-hour inside the court of CJM, Kamrup (metro), Sanjay Hazarika. He left after execution of a personal recognizance (PR) bond of Rs 50,000.
Advocate Bijon Mahajan, who appeared on behalf of RSS activist Anjan Bora, told The Telegraph that the court had fixed November 5 as the next date of hearing when the offences would be explained to Rahul. Bora had filed the case against Rahul for alleging before the media in Delhi that RSS workers had stopped him from entering Barpeta Xatra in lower Assam in December last year.
On August 6, the CJM court had summoned Rahul after examining the evidence on record and six witnesses, besides the complainant, to face trial under Section 500 of the IPC, where the punishment is imprisonment up to two years or a fine or both.
Speaking to reporters outside the court soon after leaving the premises, Rahul slammed the RSS for its “divisive” ideology and vowed to continue his fight for poor, unemployed youths and farmers. “They (the BJP and RSS) want to deter me from my fight against divisive politics and weaken my fight for the weak and poor sections of society. But I am not scared,” he said.
“I am against the ideology of the RSS and all such organisations which divide India and are harmful for this country. I want to fight for the weak and poor people. I have started a yatra for farmers in Uttar Pradesh. They (the BJP and RSS) want to derail this yatra. They don’t want me to fight for the unemployed, the poor, the weak and the farmers. But this is not possible since such a fight exists in my DNA. Small traders, unemployed youths, farmers and the less privileged are not happy with this (Modi) government. This government is only for 10 to 15 people and our fight has to continue against this,” he told Congress workers and supporters outside the court premises.
Later, addressing a meeting of senior PCC leaders, MLAs, district Congress presidents and party secretaries at Rajiv Bhawan, the party headquarters here, he exhorted them to use all their energy and expertise to revive the Congress in Assam.
A senior Congress leader said, “We are extremely elated that Rahul personally appeared before the court against a case filed by the RSS cadre. He will again come in November. This will send a strong message to the people about the Congress’s fight against divisive and communal forces.”
This was Rahul’s first visit to Assam after the Congress’s humiliating defeat in the Assembly polls in April. Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who accompanied Rahul, said it was “both a legal and political battle for Rahul and the Congress against the saffron brigade’s divisive politics”.
Mahajan said it should have been just a legal battle for Rahul. “Rahul personally appeared before the court today and will do the same on November 5. He could have applied before the court to dispense his personal appearance in successive hearings in the court. Hence, there is a murmur in the legal fraternity that Rahul has converted the battle into a political one,” he said.