NAHARLAGUN, Mar 25: The Modi Welfare Society (MWS) in Arunachal Pradesh has expressed happiness over the Surat court’s verdict on a defamation case against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his ‘Modi surname’ remarks at a 2019 poll rally in Karnataka.
Rahul Gandhi, who represented Wayanad parliamentary constituency in Kerala, was on Friday disqualified from the Lok Sabha, a day after his conviction in the defamation case by a court at Surat in Gujarat.
Regarding the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as an MP, Modi Welfare Society president Sonyung Modi while talking to News18 said, “He (Rahul Gandhi) has got the results of his immature statement.”
The Surat court sentenced the former Congress president to two years in jail in the criminal defamation case for his remarks. However, the court granted him bail and suspended the sentence for 30 days to allow him to appeal in a higher court.
The president of the Modi Welfare Society (MWS), which works for the welfare of a few thousands of people of the Modi clan living in Arunachal Pradesh, said, “The members of our ‘Modi’ clan are happy to know that he (Rahul Gandhi) got the punishment for hurting our sentiments with his remarks (‘Chor’) on our (Modi) surname.”
“Being an opposition leader every time, Rahul Gandhi gave very immature statements just to gain popularity. He needed to control his mouth before speaking on any controversial statement,” Sonyung Modi said.
“He never applied wisdom from his past lessons. If he did not tear the papers of the ordinance, which was brought by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Parliament, he (Rahul Gandhi) would not have faced disqualification,” the MWS president observed.
Earlier, the Supreme Court in April 2013 held that MPs and MLAs convicted with a minimum two-year sentence would be immediately disqualified from the House without getting three months to appeal, as was the case until then. Five months later that year, the ruling Congress government in the Centre hurriedly pushed an ordinance that sought to overturn the rule that disqualifies convicted MPs and MLAs.
At that time, Rahul Gandhi openly came out against his party’s decision.
“I personally think what the government is doing on the ordinance is wrong. It was a political decision, every party does it, and there is a time to stop this nonsense… If we actually want to stop corruption then we cannot make these compromises,” Rahul, who was 43 then, had said, underscoring a seeming divide within his party. He said the ordinance should be ‘torn and thrown out’, and then in a stunning move at the press conference, he tore a piece of paper.
Modi is a clan of the Adi community that mostly inhabits central Arunachal Pradesh. The Modis in Arunachal Pradesh are from the Mariyang area of Upper Siang district.
On May 8, 2019, Advocate Amit Modi filed a criminal defamation suit in his hometown Pasighat against Rahul Gandhi for his remark on the surname ‘Modi’. According to information, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Pasighat subsequently summoned Rahul Gandhi.
The MWS president further said the people should use their freedom of expression with caution so that others’ sentiments are not hurt.
“It is unfortunate that Rahul Gandhi has inadvertently insulted the Modi clan. We believe in justice given by the court. He must get punished if he is found guilty before the court,” the MWS president added.