Narendra Modi vs Rahul Gandhi
2019 Lok Sabha Elections: Narendra Modi vs Rahul GandhiWiki Commons

In a massive development, Congress president Rahul Gandhi has expressed regret in the Supreme Court over his 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' jibe against Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that his words got mingled in the heat of the moment and political campaigning. "My statements were used and misused by political opponents," the Congress chief said in his statement to the Supreme Court.

Terming it unfortunate, Gandhi accepted that the court never used these words. The Congress leader apologised in his reply to the top court notice in connection with a contempt plea filed against him by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Meenakshi Lekhi on April 12 seeking initiation of contempt proceeding against the Congress chief for attributing his remarks on the recent Rafale controversy to the top court.

Earlier, the apex court had sought an explanation from Congress chief over his remark that stated: "Supreme Court said chowkidar ne chori ke hai (Supreme Court said that chowkidar is involved in a theft)". "I want to thank the Supreme Court. The entire country is saying that Chowkidar chor hai (Chowkidar has committed theft). Supreme Court ne clear kar diya hai ki chowkidarji ne chori karwai (Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidarji committed theft)," the Congress leader had said in Uttar Pradesh's Amethi.

The bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna clarified that it had not made any such observation. "We make it clear the statement attributed to this court in the address made by the respondent (Rahul Gandhi) to the media and public have been incorrectly attributed to this court," three judges led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi said.

The third phase of the Lok Sabha elections will be held on Tuesday (April 23). Voters from 12 states and two Union Territories will cast ballots across 115 constituencies —the maximum number of Lok Sabha seats going to vote — to choose from more than 1,600 candidates. Results will be declared on May 23.