The Congress reacted sharply to Republic Editor Arnab Goswami’s “condemnable comments” against party president Sonia Gandhi in the context of the Palghar lynching incident and has demanded legal action against him.
Mr. Goswami reportedly questioned Ms. Gandhi’s silence on the incident and made some provocative allegations that The Hindu has chosen not to repeat.
“His comments were disgraceful and condemnable. Mr. Goswami claims to be an independent journalist but the deplorable language that he is using certainly matches that of the BJP,” general secretary organisation K.C. Venugopal told The Hindu. He said the party would explore legal action against Mr. Goswami.
Sources suggested that the party was building up pressure on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to register a case against Mr. Goswami for use of defamatory language against Ms. Gandhi.
Party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told The Hindu that the Congress would pursue all legal options. “The Congress party will explore and pursue rigorously all the legal options. In fact it’s an open-and-shut case of deliberately stoking hatred among communities and inciting communal passion,” Mr. Surjewala said.
Head of the party’s legal cell Vivek Tankha is likely to file a case.
In a tweet earlier Mr. Surjewala said,“Let PM remember that Smt. Sonia Gandhi has spent over 50 years of life in India, serving the country & being a witness to sacrifice of her mother in law & husband. But your favourite abusive anchors won’t bat an eyelid before hurling filth,” he said, adding that “silence is acquiescence”.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Mr. Goswami had crossed all limits. “Attack on Mrs. Sonia Gandhi by Arnab Goswami is highly condemnable. He has gone insane and crossed all limits, he should be ashamed of himself. I must ask the Editors Guild — isn’t this all time low for journalism? Mr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar must sack him immediately,” Mr. Gehlot tweeted.
Chhattisgarh Health Minister T.S. Singh Deo said such comments would only inflame communal hatred. “This is pure, unadulterated hatred! In such sensitive times, this man is trying to flame communal hatred along with a glaring personal attack on Smt. Sonia Gandhi- showing his vicious agenda! Appalling!” Mr. Deo tweeted.
Congress general secretary Mukul Wasnik said Mr. Goswami’s attack was partisan, abusive and full of venom.
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