Rahul Gandhi Nepal visit: Congress-BJP trade barbs over viral video
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's private trip to Nepal seems to have rubbed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) the wrong way. Amit Malviya—BJP's Information & Technology head—tweeted a video showing Gandhi at a nightclub, claiming he was partying even as Congress is "exploding." Notably, Gandhi was in Kathmandu to attend the wedding of his Nepali friend Sumnima Udas, who is also a journalist, PTI reported.
Why does this story matter?
- The BJP accused Gandhi of being a "part-time politician" and claimed he is seen partying even as "his party is exploding."
- The remarks came after communal tensions were witnessed in Congress-riled Rajasthan's Jodhpur on the eve of Eid-al-Fitr, which coincides with Parshuram Jayanti—both being observed on Tuesday.
- BJP leader Shehzad Poonawalla slammed Gandhi, alleging, "He was in party mode even after 26/11 [Mumbai attacks]."
Check out Amit Malviya's tweet here
Gandhi among other Indian guests at wedding
Reportedly, Gandhi was invited to Nepal by Sumnima's father—Bhim Udas—who also served as Nepal's Ambassador to Myanmar. Soon after Gandhi's Kathmandu nightclub video went viral, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju retweeted it and took a dig at him. He said there's no issue with regular parties and foreign visits for "private citizens," suggesting Gandhi—being an MP and leader of a national party—shouldn't do the same.
Congress defends Gandhi's personal visit to Kathmandu
Congress, however, defended the Wayanad MP's Nepal visit and asked, "What's wrong with it?" Asked about Gandhi's Kathmandu visit at a press conference, Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala clarified he was attending a friend's wedding in Kathmandu on a personal visit. He also took a dig at the BJP and asked them to instead focus on the power crisis and inflation, among other issues.
Congress takes a jibe at PM Modi
In response to criticism against Gandhi's visit, Congress took a jibe at PM Narendra Modi. Surjewala said the Congress leader wasn't an "uninvited guest" like PM Modi was "when he visited Pakistan" to celebrate the country's former PM Nawaz Sharif. "Gandhi has gone to a friendly country Nepal to participate in a private marriage function of a friend," he added.
It is not a crime: Surjewala
Surjewala said, "Do let me know so...we can change our status and civilizational practices of attending marriages of our friends and family members." He added, "It is not a crime. Maybe the PM and BJP will soon decide it's a crime to participate in weddings."
Randeep Surjewala defends Rahul Gandhi's Nepal visit
TMC MP Mahua Moitra jumps into the controversy
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra also took a dig at "BJP trolls" for their double standards and gave her twopence worth. She tweeted, "How on earth is it anybody's business whether @RahulGandhi or anybody...is in nightclub or at wedding in private time? Sick @BJP trolls in charge should stick to doing what they do best- leading double lives with beer in teapots (sic)."