Surat cops tighten security before Rahul Gandhi arrives
Rahul Gandhi was convicted of criminal defamation by the Surat court last month
Police in Gujarat's Surat have deployed additional forces ahead of the arrival this afternoon of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, and the chief ministers of three party-ruled states to challenge the former's conviction in the 2019 'Modi surname' criminal defamation case that resulted in his disqualification from the Lok Sabha
Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and chief ministers Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan), Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) and Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu (Himachal Pradesh) are expected in Surat at around 2 pm.
Rahul Gandhi was convicted of criminal defamation by the Surat court last month, triggering a fiery fight between the opposition and prime minister Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power in Gujarat and at the centre.
His disqualification from the Lok Sabha was ordered less than 24 hours after the verdict, and he was told vacate his MP's bungalow in Delhi soon after.
Rahul Gandhi was convicted over a remark made during an election rally in Karnataka's Kolar in 2019; referring to fugitives Nirav Modi and Lalit Modi, he said he wondered if all thieves had 'Modi' as a surname, and the remark was seen as a slight on the prime minister.
He was handed a two-year sentence that was suspended immediately to allow him to appeal the verdict.