Congress President Rahul Gandhi has been in trouble ever since he made libellous remarks claiming that Narendra Modi has legislated a law allowing ‘shooting down’ of Tribals. In response to a notice by National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) over his blatant lie, Rahul reiterated that he made the comments in “free flow of a political speech”, according to officials.
While addressing an election rally in Madhya Pradesh’s Shahdol on April 23, Gandhi had peddled an outrageous lie, saying, “The Narendra Modi government has made a new law in which there is a line that says tribal’s can be shot at…They can snatch your land, take away your jungle and water and then say that tribal’s can be shot at”.
He had also alleged that the government seeks to amend the provisions of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 “drastically and in a draconian manner”.
Taking cognisance of the remark, the NCST had on May 3 issued a notice to the Gandhi Scion, and now his counsel has come up with this explanation. The statement issued by his counsel claimed that his client summarised the finalised amendment to Section 66 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 in which “statutory empowerment is being provided for use of force and highly intrusive prejudicial and physical measures against citizens who are mostly tribal and forest inhabitants”.
However, the NCST rubbished Rahul’s counsel’s claims stating that the proposed amendment is related to “power to prevent the commission of an offence. After the amendment, it will be called the Indian Forest Act, 2019”.
On May 2, the election commission had also slapped him with a notice for the defamatory remark. Then too Rahul had said that he didn’t violate the poll code and claimed that his remarks were part of the current political rhetoric and were “free flow of a political speech”.
In his 11 page reply to the EC, he had then asked them to be ‘fair and non-discriminatory’ in dealing with complaints of poll code breach. He had alleged that the Congress was being targeted unfairly and that the various poll violations of the BJP weren’t been acted upon.
Prior to this, BJP had also sent a legal notice to Rahul Gandhi for his defamatory statements against PM Modi. It had granted Rahul Gandhi three days to respond to its legal notice, failing which a defamation suit was to be filed against him.
However, using the excuse of ‘political speech’ to peddle outrageous lies has been the Congress President’s regular strategy. The SC had sent a notice to him for attributing the ‘Chowkidar Chow Hai’ to the court. Following which he said that the remarks were made in the ‘heat of campaigning’. He was later forced to give an unconditional apology to the Supreme Court.