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Our leaders were treated similarly by you: BJP to Congress on sixth row seat for Rahul Gandhi

As Rahul Gandhi took the the designated seat in the sixth row in Republic Day parade, the Congress accused the government of setting aside tradition and indulging in “cheap politics”.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2018 15:08 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,sixth row seat,Republic Day function
Congress President Rahul Gandhi during an 'At Home' reception organised on the occasion of Republic Day at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)

The BJP Saturday rebuffed the Congress’ objections to its president Rahul Gandhi being given a sixth row seat at the Republic Day function, saying he considered himself a “super VVIP who should be put ahead of everyone else”.

The ruling party wondered what was the fuss about when Rahul had been alloted a seat as per “protocol”, adding that the BJP leaders were treated similarly during the Congress rule but it had never made it an issue.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi took the designated seat in the sixth row Friday during the Republic Day parade here, prompting an angry reaction from his party that accused the government of setting aside tradition and indulging in “cheap politics”.

Read more | It’s about manners than protocol: Salman Khurshid on 6th-row seat for Rahul Gandhi

BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao Saturday rejected the Congress’ criticism, saying it did not behove the party, which “claims to have a 133-year-old illustrious history”.

The same treatment was meted out to the BJP national presidents and leaders like Rajnath Singh when the Congress was in power, he said.

“We never made it an issue. We function with a spirit of democracy, whereas you claim to have 133-year-old illustrious history. If this is your democratic spirit or understanding of democracy, it is a shame on the Congress party,” he said.

Rao said there is “no Congress rule” in the country but Gandhi thinks he is a “super VVIP”.

“People of new India do not expect their political leaders to wear their VVIP cards on their shoulders.

“Rahul is trying to tell he is a super VVIP and should be put ahead of everyone else even if he doesn’t have any position or does not fall in the protocol list,” Rao said.

The BJP followed democracy in its true spirit and complied with all rules and laws, he asserted.

“Our party believes in a value system. We not only follow laws, rules and traditions, but also ensure respect for leaders and opposition leaders,” he added.

First Published: Jan 27, 2018 15:08 IST