In a case of mistaken identity, BJP workers in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district waiting to felicitate cabinet minister Kiran Maheshwari ended up garlanding the leader of opposition, Rameshwar Dudi, on Wednesday evening.
They later blamed bad weather and power outage for the faux pas.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers of Merta, a town in Nagaur, were waiting to greet the public health and engineering department (PHED) minister, who was on her way from Rajsamand, when it began raining around 7.30pm and they took refuge in a roadside shop on the highway. When they saw a red-beacon SUV approaching, they signalled it to stop and lunged towards it with garlands in hand.
Before they realised that the person in the car was not their minister, they had already garlanded Dudi. To avoid further embarrassment, they sheepishly told the Congress leader they respect all their guests.
“There was a power cut and it was raining so we couldn’t recognise the vehicle from a distance and mistook the SUV with flashing red light atop it for the minister’s car,” said Manak Dharak, BJP’s mandal president. “But what’s the harm. We believe in athithi devo bhava (guest is god),” he said to cover up for the slip-up.
Dudi said it didn’t take him too long to sense the goof-up “but since we had been stopped, I stepped out of the vehicle”. The opposition leader spent more than 10 minutes with the BJP workers and even claimed they congratulated him in advance for a Congress government in the state in 2018.
Later on, the workers welcomed Maheshwari as well. There were no garlands though!