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Pasighat, May 17, 2019:

The court of the chief judicial magistrate in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh on May 8 issued a summon to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in response to a criminal defamation suit filed by an advocate named Omit Modi residing in Pasighat over Gandhi’s remark on the surname ‘Modi’.

“Why do all the thieves have the Modi surname?” Gandhi had wondered aloud during an election rally in Kolar, Karnataka, recently.

The counsel for the complainant submitted that “freedom of expression is not a wild horse; it is qualified with dignity and reputation of others.

The said statement is not made in good faith but to malign the reputation of the persons having Modi as surname.”

The court here issued the summons for Gandhi’s appearance before the court on 24 July.

Earlier in March while visiting Arunachal, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had launched into a tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a speech delivered at Itanagar on Tuesday and lambasted the Prime Minister for his alleged roles in corruption scams in the country.

Rahul also wondered asked why all the “thieves” in the country – Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi, and Narendra Modi – all have the surname ‘Modi’.

It is no wonder that other persons called Modi who do not have allegations of corruption against them would be miffed at the Congress President for slandering the surname.

It remains to be seen whether Gandhi will react to the summons, but it is pretty evident that he has rubbed a certain portion of the electorate with the surname Modi the wrong way, but it is still early to say whether it have any dent on Gandhi’s election hopes.

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