Soon after getting a bail in the RSS defamation case, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said he is enjoying the fight.
Talking to reporters, Mr Gandhi said, “I am being attacked and I am enjoying the fight.”
He also said that “It is a battle of ideology. I stand with the poor, the farmers. The attacks are on. Mazaa aa raha hai (I am enjoying the fight). “The fight will continue. I will fight 10 times harder than in the last five years.”
Mr Gandhi’s decision to appear in court has been linked by many to a point that he made about an ideological battle in his open letter on Wednesday declaring that he had resigned as Congress president, a role he took on two years ago.
“I personally fought the Prime Minister, the RSS and the institutions they have captured with all my being. I fought because I love India… At times, I stood completely alone and am extremely proud of it,” he wrote.
“We will not defeat our opponents without sacrificing the desire for power and fighting a deeper ideological battle,” he said.
The Congress leader was summoned, besides CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, by a metropolitan magistrate’s court in February on a complaint filed by Dhrutiman Joshi, a lawyer and worker of the RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP.
Gauri Lankesh was shot dead outside her house in Bengaluru in September 2017.
The RSS activist alleged in his 2017 lawsuit that within 24 hours of her death, Mr Gandhi told reporters that “anybody who speaks against the ideology of the BJP, against the ideology of the RSS, is pressured, beaten, attacked, and even killed.”
The complaint also accused Sitaram Yechury of commenting that it was the RSS’ ideology and RSS people who killed the journalist.
The complaint names Rahul Gandhi, his mother and then Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, the CPM and its general secretary Sitaram Yechury.
The court dismissed the complaint against Sonia Gandhi and the CPI(M), saying a party cannot be held liable for comments made by individuals.
Mr Gandhi is facing another defamation case at Bhiwandi in neighbouring Thane district, filed by a local RSS worker, for allegedly blaming the Sangh for Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.
The Congress leader also plans to attend defamation case hearings in Patna on July 6, Surat on July 9 and Ahmedabad on July 12.