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Rahul Gandhi Faces Defamation Case in Bihar for 'Tarnishing' India's Image Abroad

The complainant said Ojha said the Congress chief had 'deliberately made such statements with an intention to create tension in the country' and the remarks had led to protests and demonstrations against him.

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Updated:August 25, 2018, 4:44 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi Faces Defamation Case in Bihar for 'Tarnishing' India's Image Abroad
Congress president Rahul Gandhi addresses a gathering at the Bucerius Summer School in Germany’s Hamburg. (File photo tweeted by @INCIndia)
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Muzaffarpur (Bihar): Rahul Gandhi’s comments linking terrorism in India with increasing unemployment have landed him in legal trouble, with a Bihar advocate filing a defamation case against the Congress president for “tarnishing and lowering the image of the country”.

Addressing a gathering at the Bucerius Summer School in Germany’s Hamburg, Gandhi had said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has excluded tribal communities, Dalits and minorities from the development narrative and "this could be a dangerous thing".

“It is very dangerous in the 21st century to exclude people,” he said. “If you don't give people a vision in the 21st century, somebody else will. And that's the real risk of excluding a large number of people from the development process,” Gandhi had said.

He had also linked the incidents of lynching in India to joblessness and the lack of opportunities for the poor who, he said, were not being given equal opportunities.

The comments did not go down well with advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha, who filed a complaint in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Hari Prasad here, which fixed September 4 as the date for hearing the matter.

Ojha said Gandhi, during his visit to Germany and Britain, had “justified terrorism and explained the emergence of Islamic State (IS) group due to increasing unemployment and likened it with that of India, which is an insult to the country”.

Gandhi held Indian culture responsible for violence against women, the complainant said, adding that the Congress chief had “tarnished and lowered the image of India internationally on foreign soil”.

Ojha said Gandhi had “deliberately made such statements with an intention to create tension in the country” and the remarks had led to protests and demonstrations against him, adding that he was hurt by the comments.

The advocate filed the criminal complaint case against Gandhi under various sections of the IPC and if convicted by the court, the charges attract a minimum of two to three years of imprisonment with fine or both.

Gandhi’s comments had also riled the BJP, which accused him of belittling India in his address and alleged that he justified terrorism and “lied through his teeth” to attack the Modi government.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra sought explanation from Gandhi on his comments on a range of issues, claiming that he presented India in a bad light by allegedly blaming its culture for violence against women.



The BJP leader said Sonia Gandhi was the Congress chief for over 19 years and ruled India as a "proxy prime minister" for 10 years.

"Wasn't this Indian culture which helped her reach the top? Rahul and Sonia Gandhi should come out and explain as to how they can point fingers at this great Indian culture," he said, seeking Gandhi's apology for his response on the issue of woman safety in India. Patra also cited praised by international bodies of reform measures undertaken by the Modi government to rebut Gandhi's charges.

(With PTI inputs)
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