New Delhi: The viral video of the former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi in which he’s seen at a nightclub in Kathmandu set off a political slugfest on Tuesday.
While the BJP leaders grabbed the opportunity to hit out at Rahul Gandhi, Congress sharply reacted and said “it has still not become a crime in this country to attend a marriage celebration”.
“Rahul Gandhi went to a friendly country, Nepal, to participate in a marriage function of a friend who also happens to be a journalist. It has still not become a crime in this country to attend a marriage. Maybe after today, the BJP may decide (if) it is illegal to attend a marriage and a crime to have friends,” said Randeep Singh Surjewala, the Congress media department head.
The BJP, incidentally, took potshot at the Rahul Gandhi by referring to the “leadership crisis” in the Opposition outfit. Congress had been in an intense discussion with the poll strategist Prashant Kishor over revamping the organisation. However, Kishor opted out of the exercise. Woes for the Congress refuse to die down as the party’s working president in the poll-bound Gujarat Hardik Patel on Monday removed the name of the organisation from his Twitter profile.
The BJP leader and Bihar Minister Syed Shahnawaz Hussain took a jibe at the Wayanad MP, saying “he’s busy in parties than running his own political party”.
“Nothing can stop Rahul Gandhi from doing parties. He is more involved in parties, rather than running his own party. We work for our political parties, but he attends parties,” Hussain said.
Rahul Gandhi, who is in Kathmandu, reportedly attended the wedding of a friend a day ago.
Surjewala sought to counter the BJP, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi too had visited Lahore to attend a marriage function when Nawaz Sharif was the Prime Minister in 2015.
“Rahul Gandhi has not gone to Nepal to cut Nawaz Sharif’s cake, uninvited like PM Modi,” said Surjewala.
Meanwhile, Congress leader and Lok Sabha MP Manickam Tagore said that everyone attends private functions, so “what is wrong if Rahul Gandhi attends it?”.
Earlier, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had called Rahul Gandhi a “full-time tourist and a part-time politician, who is filled with hypocrisy”, while reacting to the viral video.
According to a report in Kathmandu Post, Rahul Gandhi had landed in Nepal’s capital city on Monday afternoon. The daily cited Bhim Udas, former Nepali ambassador to Myanmar, as saying that he had extended an invitation to Rahul Gandhi to attend the wedding of his daughter.
Udas’s daughter Sumnima, a former CNN correspondent, is getting married to Nima Martin Sherpa, according to the Nepali publication. Kathmandu Post report said that in August 2018, Rahul Gandhi had visited Kathmandu on his way to Kailash Mansarovar.
However, there is no independent authentication of the contents of the viral video.