Surat: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appeared before a magistrate’s court in Gujarat’s Surat on Thursday to record his final statement in a criminal defamation suit filed by a Gujarat MLA over the former’s remark on the ‘Modi surname’. Rahul Gandhi defended himself saying that the remark was nothing but sarcasm.Also Read - This Photo of a Snow-covered Mount Everest Behind Rahul Gandhi During Live Video Session Goes Viral

“I didn’t mean to target any community. I just played sarcasm during the elections. I don’t remember much about this,” Rahul Gandhi said told the court. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Releases White Paper on COVID, Says Aim is to Help Nation Prepare for Possible Third Wave

BJP legislator from Surat Purnesh Modi had filed a complaint against Gandhi in April 2019 under IPC Ssections 499 and 500, that deal with defamation. Also Read - Rahul Gandhi Turns 51: No Birthday Celebration Due To 2nd Wave, Congress Workers Urged to do Relief Work Instead

A week back, Surat’s Chief Judicial Magistrate A N Dave directed Gandhi to remain present in the court on June 24 to record his final statement in the case.

In his complaint, the MLA had alleged that Gandhi defamed the entire Modi community by saying “How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?” while addressing a poll rally in 2019.

During the election rally held at Kolar in Karnataka on April 13, 2019, Gandhi had reportedly asked, “Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi…how come they all have Modi as the common surname. How come all the thieves have Modi as the common surname?”

Rahul Gandhi was the Congress president when he had made this remark.

Gandhi earlier appeared before the court in October 2019 and pleaded not guilty for his comment.

(With PTI inputs)