Beg remark is divisive: BJP; Cong calls it emotional
The Congress on Tuesday defended general secretary Rahul Gandhi's remarks on migration of people from Uttar Pradesh, but the opposition was unsparing in its criticism, even as a complaint was filed against him in a Mumbai court. HT reports.india Updated: Nov 16, 2011 02:37 IST
The Congress on Tuesday defended general secretary Rahul Gandhi's remarks on migration of people from Uttar Pradesh, but the opposition was unsparing in its criticism, even as a complaint was filed against him in a Mumbai court.
Launching the party's campaign in UP, Gandhi had said in Phulpur on Monday, "People of Uttar Pradesh are appreciated for their hard work wherever they go... How long will you beg in Maharashtra (for work)?"
Defending Gandhi, law minister Salman Khurshid said, "The statement is an emotional one to awaken people of the state and should not be taken otherwise."
BJP vice-president Kalraj Mishra, however, said, "Rahul's statement… indicates his divisive mentality. Why did the Maharashtra government fail when people from UP were being attacked there? Where was Rahul Gandhi then?"
Another BJP leader, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said Gandhi's statement was an "insult" to the people of the state.
Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Shivpal Yadav said: "I think Rahul is not capable enough to do anything for development of the country, including UP." Referring to the alleged beating of a party worker for showing black flags to Gandhi in Allahabad on Monday, Yadav said no one had the right to take the law into their own hands.
The Congress, however, said the Allahabad incident, where some people managed to get close to Gandhi's helicopter, was a serious breach of security.
Yoga guru Baba Ramdev also joined the debate, saying Gandhi should know that more than 80% people of the country were living like beggars. "If he does some soul searching, he will come to know which party is most responsible for all this."
Meanwhile, Farooq Ghosi, vice-president of Mumbai SP, filed a complaint against Gandhi for his remarks in the Bandra metropolitan court. "I have been staying in Maharashtra and I belong to UP. There are many people from UP working in Maharashtra. Gandhi's statement has hurt our sentiments."
Ghosi has sought action against Gandhi for defamation. The case is likely to come up for hearing on December 14.
(With inputs from agencies)