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Calling Rahul Gandhi Pappu: Cong suspends leader, BJP cries ‘double standards’

Congress’ Meerut unit chief Vinay Pradhan was suspended for forwarding a post to the party’s WhatsApp group in which Rahul Gandhi is referred to as “pappu”.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2017 17:07 IST
Kumar Uttam and S Raju
Kumar Uttam and S Raju
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Meerut
Rahul Gandhi,pappu,BJP
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi outside Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, where five farmers were killed during protests against the BJP-led state government.(HT file)

The Congress is facing criticism for suspending an Uttar Pradesh leader who allegedly referred to party vice president Rahul Gandhi as “pappu” in a WhatsApp message.

Pappu, or a young and clueless boy, is a word often used by Gandhi’s critics to deride him.

On Monday, the Congress’ Meerut unit chief Vinay Pradhan had forwarded a post to the party’s WhatsApp group that criticized BJP and RSS for calling Gandhi “pappu” despite his relentless fight for farmers, youth and students.

Pradhan, who was suspended on Tuesday, blamed his rivals for the incident. He told HT on Wednesday he would explain the matter to party state president Raj Babbar who has summoned him to Delhi.

The BJP has accused the Congress of double standards while dealing with its leaders who make controversial remarks.

Reacting to media reports that the Congress had expelled Vinay Pradhan, its Meerut unit chief, from all party posts, the BJP questioned why former MP Sandeep Dikshit had been let off for calling Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat “sadak ka goonda (roadside thug)”.

“Expelled from the party for saying Pappu and just warning for sadak ka goonda remark. What an amazing justice by the Congress,” said BJP spokesman Sambit Patra.

On Sunday, Dikshit had referred to Rawat as “sadak ka goonda” after the army chief defended Major Leetul Gogoi’s act of tying a Kashmiri man to his jeep and using him as a “human shield” against stone-pelters in the Valley.

First Published: Jun 14, 2017 14:13 IST