Former Congress president and Member of Parliament from Wayanad, Rahul Gandhi is slated to be in Gujarat on October 10 and 11 to defend himself in two defamation cases. The first one pertains to him allegedly defaming the entire Modi community. A complaint in this regard was filed by the BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Surat West, Purnesh Modi. The other case is in relation to his allegation that the Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank was involved in a "scam", where scrapped currency notes with a face value of Rs.750 crore were exchanged with valid bills within 5 days of demonetisation in 2016.
The president of the Gujarat unit of Congress, Amit Chavda, met local leaders to take stock for the preparations of Gandhi’s upcoming visit. Confirming that the former Congress president would appear before the court on October 10, he added that he would be accorded a grand welcome by Congress workers from the airport to the court.
He said, "Rahulji will be accorded a grand welcome by our party workers on the entire route from the airport to the court.”
Modi’s complaint stems from Gandhi’s speech at a campaign rally in Kolar, Karnataka on April 13, where he reportedly said, "Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi- how come they all have Modi as a common surname? How come all thieves have Modi as a common surname?" Thereafter, Chief Judicial Magistrate B H Kapadia had issued summons to him in May after finding prima facie substance in the complaint. The court had granted him exemption from personal appearance during the last hearing held in July. It also fixed October 10 as the next date of hearing.
Reports suggest that the former Congress president departed for Bangkok on Saturday. The reason for this sudden visit has neither been officially disclosed by his party or Gandhi himself. It comes at a juncture when there has been intense infighting within the Congress with public outbursts from senior leaders such as Sanjay Nirupam and Ashok Tanwar. Moreover, Maharashtra and Haryana are scheduled to go to the polls on October 21. Thus, confusion persists whether Rahul would indeed make an appearance in Gujarat.