Gadkari faces a dozen cases in state after quip on Vivekananda
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All complaints filed by Congmen in different courts for 'hurting' their sentiments.
By Thursday, BJP president Nitin Gadkari was facing 12 criminal complaints in different courts in Gujarat for comparing Swami Vivekananda's IQ with that of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
All these complaints, lodged over the past two days, also name BJP's national spokesperson Nirmala Seetharaman as co-accused for "supporting" Gadkari's comments.
All were filed by members of the state Congress.
Courts have given different hearing dates from November 8 to 30 for these cases.
Gadkari had made the controversial remarks at a function in Bhopal on Sunday.
Complaints filed across various districts in Gujarat accused Gadkari of playing with emotions of youths and hurting religious sentiments of Swami's followers.
These complaints are in trial courts of Jamnagar, Junagadh, Upleta, Bhavnagar, Rajkot, Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Anand and Porbandar.
Lawyers associated with Congress say though a single complaint would have been enough to frame a legal case, multiple complaints will help them widely spread the case.
All the complainants claim to be "followers of Swami Vivekananda" and say they are hurt by the November 5 comments of Gadkari "who compared Swamiji's IQ with hardcore criminal and anti-social person like Dawood".
Gadkari's comments have also sparked street protests. Congress and Gujarat Parivartan Party activists burnt effigies of Gadkari on Wednesday in Rajkot and Surat, respectively.
Congress's legal cell's acting president V H Kanara said, "Complaints against Gadkari were filed in 12 courts in 12 different cities. Everywhere, the complainant is a Congressman but complaints have been filed in individual capacity, as it should be."
In Vadodara, judicial magistrate K R Bhatt has rejected the complaint filed by city Congress president Shailesh Amin, saying the speech was in Bhopal and therefore outside his jurisdiction. "I will move the higher court (district and sessions court) with our petition," Amin said.