Rahul Gandhi was on Wednesday granted bail in the defamation case filed against him for allegedly blaming Mahatma Gandhi's assassination on the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and the next hearing on the matter has been deferred to 30 January, according to ANI.
Coming out after the proceedings in the court, a combative Rahul asserted he would carry on with his fight for the ideology of the Father of the Nation and win that battle.
Addressing party workers, after the court hearing, Rahul invoked Mahatma Gandhi's principles to take a dig at the ruling dispensation and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "I am happy to be fighting for the principles of Gandhiji," Rahul told a cheering crowd of Congress party workers gathered outside the court.
Lashing out at the BJP and RSS, Rahul said that drunk on its power, the BJP is keen on making India bow in front of it. "On the one hand is the ideology of freedom and on other is the ideology of slavery. Those I am fighting against want to bend India so that they can rule the country," he said.
Expressing his determination to keep the fight on, Rahul further said, "They (BJP and RSS) are yet to understand the power of Hindustan. This country can never be bent. We will fight against them and win."
He also took the opportunity to criticise the government's move to demonetise higher currency notes. Alleging that the move was a covert mean to transfer the poor man's wealth to the hands of a handful of his "industrialist friends," Rahul asked the Congress workers whether any one saw a rich man standing in the queues. He asked the gathering whether anyone got to see a Rs 2,000 note yet.
"Modi's demonetisation decision is causing inconvenience to all of you, can anyone spot even one rich man here? I'll tell you what is happening. You are being forced to stand in queues and all your money will be handed over to the 15-20 industrialists. He is running a government only for 15 people," Rahul said.
Earlier Rahul reached the Bhiwandi magistrate court in Thane district amid tight security along with his supporters and state leaders around 10.30 am and appeared before Judge Tushar Waze, who adjourned the case till 30 January 30, 2017. Former Union Minister Shivraj Patil stood as surety for the bail for the Congress leader.
A criminal defamation case was filed against the Congress vice president by a local RSS functionary, Rajesh Kunte, for claiming, at a 2014 election rally, that the RSS had killed Mahatma Gandhi..
Addressing a rally in the run-up to the 2014 general elections in the powerloom town on the outskirts of Mumbai, Rahul had claimed, "The RSS people had killed Gandhi."
On 1 September, Rahul had preferred to face the trial as an accused in the defamation case, submitting before the Supreme Court that he stood by "every word" of his statement.
He had expressed his readiness to face the trial after the apex court refused to interfere with the criminal proceedings pending against him before the trial court. He then withdrew the appeal filed by him against the Bombay High Court judgement refusing to quash the defamation case and summons issued to him by the trial court.
The apex court also declined Rahul's plea that he be exempted from personal appearance before the Bhiwandi court which had taken cognisance of the complaint of an RSS functionary by summoning him as an accused in the case.
Rahul's lawyer Ashok Mundargi today also sought exemption from personal appearance for the Congress leader but it was objected to by the complainant counsel, who told the court that he may be treated as an ordinary citizen.
With inputs from agencies