Do you think I use special soap, asks Rahul
Taking a light jibe at UP Chief Minister Mayawati's charges that he purifies himself after visiting a Dalit home, the AICC Gen Secy says people's remarks about him would not act as a deterrent.india Updated: Apr 27, 2008 13:55 IST
Making light of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's allegation that he uses a special soap to "purify" himself after visiting a Dalit home, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi said people can say what they want to but that would not deter him.
"Do you think I use a special soap?" Gandhi asked reporters in Kanker on Saturday evening, when asked to respond to Mayawati's charges.
The Congress general secretary then got up from his chair and pointed to his white kurta pyajama - which had lost its sheen due to the heat and dust.
"You can come and see from here," he added, with a mischievous smile.
Getting serious, he said, "People will say what they have to say. My job is to go and listen to those who are not heard and I do my job."
Gandhi had spent a night with a Dalit family in his Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh in February and then visited a Dalit family in Aminabad area of Etawah district, which had lost six members in a fight with bandits.
Mayawati had alleged that Rahul Gandhi takes a bath with a special soap to "purify" himself after visiting a Dalit home.
Mayawati, under attack from the Congress, particularly Rahul Gandhi, sees his overtures towards Dalits - onetime 'untouchable' outcastes in Hindu society - as a threat to her core constituency.
Gandhi is on a four-day tour of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh as part of a series of visits to some poor and tribal areas of the country.