Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Thursday filed a defamation case against BJP spokesman Sambit Patra, charging him with conspiring to project her as ‘anti-Hindu’ to gain political mileage in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls.
Joshi, who filed the case in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, said that during a debate on a national channel on January 9, Patra had charged her with issuing a statement on Lord Rama which proved she was anti-Rama and anti-Hindu.
“Patra had purposely tried to tarnish my image by projecting me as anti-Hindu as part of political vendetta in view of the coming Assembly polls in the state,” said Joshi, who is also party’s national spokesperson and local MLA.
“Being secular does not mean one is opposed to his own religion...it seems BJP wants to patent Hindu religion in its name...I am a devout Hindu and Ram ‘Bhakta’ (devotee) but at the same time respect all religions and openly oppose those who want to spread hatred in the name of religion,” Joshi contended.
She said earlier in December last year, Patra and other spokespersons of the Sangh Parivar had “attributed wrong statements to me in order to brand me as anti-Ram and anti-Hindu”.
Thereon she had received thousands of phone calls which forced her to approach Uttar Pradesh cyber cell and lodge a complaint against unidentified persons for posting objectionable materials in her name on Facebook and other social networking sites, Bahuguna said.
Joshi said she had sent a legal notice to Patra through her counsel on January 28 for tendering public apology and today she lodged a defamation case after failing to get a response to it, she added.