After being granted bail by a magistrate’s court in a defamation case in Bhiwandi, Congress vice-president Rahul hit out at the Modi government over demonetisation.
He said the November 8 move to scrap high value notes is meant to favour industrialists.
“Narendra Modi has taken money from citizens’ pocket to give it to these industrialists who are his friends,” Rahul said.
He was addressing party workers at Bhiwandi in neighbouring Thane district.
“No action has been taken against industrialists,” he said.
He added that the poor are made to stand in the queues to withdraw and exchange money.
“Did you see any industrialist or rich person standing in the queue to get the currency changed? It is only the common men, including farmers, labourers, small vendors, who have been falling prey to the demonetisation. Loans of Rs1.10 lakh crore owed by the big industrialists have been waived off by the Modi government in the last two years. I don’t want to name the big names as everybody in the country know them, but the demonetisation decision has been taken with the intent of diverting the money to the handful 15-20 rich and famous of the country,” he said in his brief speech of seven minutes.
The case filed by RSS worker Rajesh Kunte dates back to March 2014 when Rahul in his Lok Sabha election speech at Bhiwandi blamed the organisation for its hand in assassination of the father of nation.
Former Union ninister Shivraj Patil stood as surety for the bail for Rahul.
He reached the court at 10:35am. He will leave for Delhi immediately after the court proceedings as the Winter Session starts on Wednesday, said state Congress sources.
Kunte ’s counsel Nandu Phadke told the court that if Rahul was ready to accept his “mistake” then he will withdraw the case against him.
When Rahul’s lawyer Ashok Mundargi sought the court to exempt him from personal appearance, the complainant’s lawyer said Rahul may be treated as an ordinary citizen. The court adjourned the hearing till January 28.
The Bombay high court had earlier refused to grant any relief to Rahul’s plea to quash the criminal defamation case but had exempted him from a personal appearance before a magistrate in Bhiwandi.
He then moved the Supreme Court with a special leave petition (SLP) for permission to challenge the HC dismissal of his plea but later withdrew the plea.
Rahul expressed his readiness to face the trial after the SC refused to interfere with the criminal proceedings pending against him before the trial court.
The apex court also declined Rahul’s plea that he be exempted from personal appearance before the Bhiwandi court which had summoned him as an accused in the case.