Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 23 (ANI): The BJP's Maharashtra chief, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, on Thursday accused Rahul Gandhi of making a personal remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his party will launch statewide protests against the Congress MP.
His remark followed Rahul's conviction by a Surat court on Thursday in a defamation case over his remark using the 'Modi' surname.
The court later approved his bail for a surety of Rs 15,000 while suspending his two-year prison sentence during which he can move a higher court challenging his conviction.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Bawankule said, "Rahul Gandhi insulted the OBC community with his remark and the court announced his punishment for the offence. The BJP will launch statewide protest against Rahul Gandhi for making a personal remark against PM Modi," he said.
The BJP state chief alleged further that the Congress leaders "insulted" the court after the verdict was pronounced.
"Many Congress leaders opposed the judgement and even insulted the court. Cases must be registered against those who are insulting the judiciary. We have got justice. We will hold protests against Rahul Gandhi across the state. He will have to go to jail one day," he said.
Congress national president Mallikarjun Kharge said his party will fight Rahul's conviction as per the law.
"He has been granted bail. We knew this (conviction) was coming as they kept changing judges. We believe in law and judiciary and we will fight against this, as per the law," Kharge said.
After Rahul's conviction, Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Thursday said whatever Rahul says has a negative effect on not just his party but the nation as well.
Speaking outside the Parliament, Rijiju said, "I'll have to see the details of the order before I can make any comment on it. However, whatever Rahul Gandhi says always and inevitably has a negative effect on the Congress and the entire country."The Surat District Court pronounced the verdict in the case over his alleged "how come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?" remark.
The case was filed on a complaint lodged by BJP MLA and former Gujarat minister Purnesh Modi.
Rahul made the alleged remark using the 'Modi' surname at a rally in Karnataka's Kolar, ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Last week, the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate HH Varma concluded hearing final arguments from both sides and set March 23 as the date for pronouncing its judgment in the four-year-old defamation case. (ANI)