Amid uproar over Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi’s remarks seen as an insult to north Indians, the Conrgess party on Wednesday sought to attempt damage control. Maintaining that Gandhi didn’t intend to disrespect any part of India, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma explained that the former was sharing his personal experiences.
At the same time, the Rajya Sabha MP urged the former Congress president to clarify his comments to avoid any misunderstanding. Observing that each and every part of India is equally important, he mentioned that many front-ranking leaders of the freedom struggle hailed from North India.
Seeking to pacify the people of Amethi- the constituency represented by Gandhi for 15 years, ex-Union Minister Anand Sharma said, “When it comes to Amethi, we’re grateful to voters and respect them. Amethi elected Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Captain Satish Sharma, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. No question of being disrespectful. It’s not the philosophy of Congress. We’ve believed in a united India.”
#WATCH: Congress' Anand Sharma speaks on Rahul Gandhi's remark in Trivandrum y'day. He says, "Rahul Gandhi had made observation, perhaps sharing his personal experiences…In what context he made that observation, he can clarify so that there's no conjecture or misunderstanding." pic.twitter.com/aXmrCoIYee
— ANI (@ANI) February 24, 2021
Gandhi’s comments spark controversy
During his public meeting in Thiruvananthapuram marking the culmination of Congress’ Aishwarya Yatra on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi stirred a controversy by comparing his experience as an MP from Wayanad to that of Amethi. He remarked, “For the first 15 years, I was an MP in the north. I had got used to a different type of politics. For me, coming to Kerala was very refreshing because suddenly I found that people are interested in issues and not just superficially but going into detail in the issues.”
Perceived as a dig at the people of Amethi who rejected him in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in favour of BJP’s Smriti Irani, the Wayanad MP added, “I was talking to some students in the US and I said that I really enjoy going to Kerala. It’s not just affection but the way you do your politics. If I might say so, the intelligence with which you do your politics.”
Subsequently, Gandhi came in for severe criticism from top BJP leaders and Union Ministers. Speaking to Republic Media Network’s Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani condemned the ex-Congress president’s “spiteful” and “hateful” politics creating a divide between north and south India.
Claiming that Gandhi decided to contest from Wayanad as an “afterthought”, she asserted, “His politics is that he despises the people of North India. His politics is that he despises Gujarat and that he will question the Indian Army and ask for proof? The Congress party stands for hate and vengeance against the people of the country”.
Source: Republic World