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India's Rahul Gandhi given 2-year jail term for defaming Modi name

Prominent opposition leader remains free for 30 days, will appeal

Indian National Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi addresses a crowd during his Unite India March in Delhi on Dec. 24, 2022.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday was convicted of criminal defamation and sentenced to two years in prison by a court in the western Gujarat state, over remarks he made in 2019 using Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname.

The sentence was suspended for 30 days, allowing Gandhi to remain free while he appeals the verdict. Supporters rushed to his defense, with the president of Gandhi's Indian National Congress party suggesting the ruling might have been politically motivated.

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