Meet the man who accused Rahul Gandhi of defamation

Rajesh Kunte of RSS has filed a case on Gandhi for his controversial statement

After the death of Gandhiji in 1948, the allegations that RSS members conspired or were responsible for Gandhiji’s assassination was legally settled by a commission in 1967, stating that RSS was not responsible for the murder.

However, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s statement in a public rally in Bhiwandi in 2014, that “RSS people killed Gandhiji,” resulted in an ongoing trial on him for defamation.

Rajesh Kunte, secretary of Bhiwandi unit of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who filed the case against Rahul Gandhi 12 days after his speech, feels that even after the case was settled legally, RSS has been bearing the brunt of this baseless charge for years.

“I was personally offended by the charge and felt bad for the organisation also. I discussed this with RSS’s Bhiwandi sanghchalak, Lokchandji Jain and filed a defamation suit with his permission,” he said in an interview with Livemint.

Earlier, Gandhi had tried to seek exemption from appearance and quash the complaint lodged by Kunte from the Bombay High Court. His plea was rejected by the High Court and it was observed that Gandhi’s statement intended to harm the reputation of RSS through his allegation in the first instance, unless proven otherwise. Now, Gandhi’s decision to fight the case has only strengthened Kunte’s beliefs that the leader is doing so for political gains.

“I would ask Rahul Gandhi that if Godse, who once had some relationship with RSS before he killed Gandhiji, can be used to blame the entire RSS, would he accept if I say that it was the Congress which founded the RSS since Hedgewar was with Congress party before?” Kunte said.

The next hearing in the case is on August 23, 2016.