Rahul Gandhi paused his roadshow in Uttar Pradesh today to appear in court in Assam’s Guwahati in a defamation case filed by an RSS volunteer. “File as many cases as you want, I am happy to fight,” the Congress Vice president said after the hearing, surrounded by a large number of supporters.

Mr Gandhi has been sued for accusing the RSS of stopping him from entering a 16th century monastery in Barpeta, around 76 km from Guwahati, last year.

“All these cases are being filed against me because I am fighting for the poor, the rights of farmers, for unemployed youth who have aspirations but are being denied jobs because the government is working for 10-15 people,” he told reporters outside the court.

“The idea is that I should not fight for them. But I will not be deterred and I will continue to fight,” he added.
In December last, Mr Gandhi was scheduled to visit the Barpeta Satra monastery before a road show in December but didn’t do so as there were some women pilgrims inside. The next day, he claimed in Parliament that some “RSS people” had stopped him from entering the temple.

“When I went to Assam I wanted to visit the Barpeta temple. The RSS people stopped me from going into the temple. This is the way BJP operates. They put women in front of me and prevented me from going in,” he had said.

The RSS or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP, denied the allegation.

Mr Gandhi is fighting another defamation case for linking the RSS with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and recently told the Supreme Court that he was ready to face trial in a Maharashtra court.