A day after Congress candidate from Amritsar seat Capt Amarinder Singh termed his BJP rival Arun Jaitley an ‘outsider’, the latter asked him to explain if his own party president (Sonia Gandhi) was an ‘insider’.
“In spite of my roots in Punjab, Captain Sahib called me an outsider and a pseudo Punjabi. Will he be kind enough to tell me to which state in India does Sonia Gandhi belong?” Jaitley commented in a blog entry on Sunday, in an indirect reference to the Italian origin of the United Progressive Alliance chairperson.
Quick to react, Amarinder regretted that the saffron leader had dragged Sonia Gandhi into the ‘outsider’ argument. “It was unbecoming of a leader of the stature of Jaitely to drag Sonia Gandhi into an argument where he finds himself defenceless. I always thought Jaitely was a gentleman but I am sorry to read his shameless question about the statehood of the Congress chief, who has nothing to do with what I said yesterday in a newspaper interview about him,” the former Punjab chief minister said.
Earlier, the BJP leader said, “The Congress candidate from Amritsar had still not come to the constituency. Regrettably, he is resorting to his old USP (unique selling proposition) of lowering the standard of debate through personal and discourteous remarks. I have to resist the temptation of reciprocating in the same manner. However, a polite response is necessary.”
Jaitley further asked, “Will he (Amarinder) ever be available to the constituency’s people? He is inaccessible even to own party leaders. His palace doors are closed to the common man.”
In a press release issued here, Amarinder said it was obvious who had lowered the standard of the debate. “Jaitley understands that he is losing badly,” said the Congress candidate, seeking to remind his rival of the Indian tradition of accepting the daughters-in-law and not the daughters as real inheritors of the house, irrespective of the place from they come.
“Sonia Gandhi married Rajiv Gandhi 45 years ago, and she (since) belongs to Uttar Pradesh and India obviously,” said Amarinder.
“Every time you (the BJP) rake up this issue, you lose badly, as the country’s people have rejected your chauvinistic and xenophobic rabble-rousing repeatedly,” he remarked.