'Impotent': BJP leader Nalin Kateel's 'derogatory' dig at Rahul Gandhi
Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel on Monday made derogatory comments against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, sparking a major controversy. Taking a dig at Gandhi and ex-CM Siddaramaiah over their alleged take on COVID-19 vaccination, Kateel said, "Rahul Gandhi cannot produce children." This comes at a time when election campaigns are in full swing for the Karnataka Assembly polls.
Why does this story matter?
- Kateel's remarks come as poll campaigning in Karnataka is in full gear, with only a few months left for the 2023 Assembly elections.
- They also came only days after PM Narendra Modi's visit to the poll-bound state.
- Notably, Kateel is no stranger to contentious statements. To recall, earlier this year, he appealed to the people to send Tipu Sultan's descendants home, triggering a controversy.
Karnataka BJP President Kateel's controversial remarks
Addressing a public rally in Karnataka's Ramanagara, BJP leader Kateel alleged, "Rahul Gandhi and Siddaramaiah asked everybody not to take vaccines because if they do, they cannot have kids. In the night, they got vaccinated secretly." "That's the reason one of our MLCs, Manjunath said on the other day that Rahul Gandhi is not getting married because he cannot have kids," he claimed.
Watch: Kateel addressing the rally
Congress condemns remarks, demands action
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Congress condemned Kateel's remarks against Gandhi and termed them highly derogatory. It also demanded strict action against the BJP Karnataka chief. "It is shameful. He should apologize. I don't know what kind of political leaders [these] are. I strongly condemn his remarks," Congress leader Rashid Alvi told Times Now. However, there has been no response from the BJP so far.
Kateel not new to controversial remarks
Kateel is not new to making controversial remarks. Addressing a public rally earlier this year, he said, "We are devotees of Lord Rama, Lord Hanuman...not Tipu's descendants. Let's send Tipu Sultan's descendants back home." In January, he courted another controversy by saying that BJP workers should focus on problems like "Love Jihad" instead of "small issues" like roads and sewage problems.
Significance of Nalin Kateel for BJP
Kateel is the BJP's Karnataka unit chief and has been a Lok Sabha MP since 2009, representing Dakshina Kannada, which is considered to be communally polarized. He is a member of the wealthy peasant Bunt community, which has tremendous influence over Dakshina Kannada. Under his leadership, the BJP has made significant advances in the region, winning the parliamentary seat every year since 2009.