New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Friday asked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi to apologise for his allegations against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj or the BJP will file a criminal defamation case against him.
“Rahul Gandhi must apologise for his allegations against Sushma Swaraj. If he does not apologise, it’s time for us to file a criminal defamation case against him,” Gadkari told reporters here.
Gandhi has accused Sushma Swaraj of committing a criminal act by allegedly helping former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who was accused of financial irregularities.
Gadkari said Sushma Swaraj was a prominent leader of India and Gandhi has not only defamed here but also the country’s external affairs minister, who represents India abroad.
Terming the allegations against Sushma Swaraj as baseless, Gadkari said: “She has done nothing wrong. She has not indulged in any form of corruption.”
Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu described Gandhi’s remarks as an immature statement.
“The Congress is making uncharitable comments calling a central minister a criminal saying that she must go to jail. It is an immature statement,” Naidu said.
The Congress, meanwhile, defended Gandhi, saying criticizing the functioning of the government was not defamation.
“If this is defamation, then if you see the record of the past 10 years, then the kind of words the BJP has used, every MP of the BJP can be slapped with a hundred cases,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters on Gadkari’s threat to Gandhi.