Surat: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has been summoned by a Surat court to appear before it on July 16 in connection with a case registered by Samast Gujarati Modh Modi Samaj over his comment “Why do all thieves have Modi in their names”. (Also read: Rahul Granted Bail by Patna Court)

During an election rally, Rahul had made the comment, while ostensibly on fugitive businessman Nirav Modi and IPL’s former tainted chairman Lalit Modi, he was clearly attacking PM Modi who he continued to put in the dock over the Rafale deal.

At the rally, Rahul had asked the prime minister how industrialist Anil Ambani got the offset contract despite having no experience in manufacturing such planes.
He reiterated his charge that the PM put Rs 30,000 crore of the people’s money into Ambani’s pocket by ensuring that the industrialist got the contract.

“Tell me one thing…Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, Narendra Modi…how come they all have Modi as the surname? How come all the thieves have Modi as the common name?” he had asked.

Rahul has repeated this jibe at multiple rallies. Another complaint against Rahul was filed by BJP legislator Purnesh Modi over the same words. In his complaint, the MLA from Surat-West seat had said the Congress president was defaming the entire Modi community by saying all “Modis are thieves”.

At another rally in Kolar, Karnataka, Rahul had asked the same question. While talking to reporters after filing his defamation suit, Purnesh Modi had claimed that Rahul’s remark had defamed the entire Modi community.

“There are a large number of people with Modi surname. Does it mean all members of the Modi community are thieves? He has defamed the community and also me as I carry the surname. This is why we have moved a complaint (against Rahul) in a Surat court under IPC sections 499 and 500,” the MLA had said.

A court in Ahmedabad had issued summons to Rahul in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by a BJP worker for calling BJP chief Amit Shah a “murder accused”.