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In battle for Amethi, ‘gotra’ politics plays out on social media

The social media was abuzz after a priest revealed Gandhi’s ‘gotra’ and declared that he was a Kashmiri Brahmin during his (Gandhi’s) visit to a temple in Pushkar. And now, union minister for textiles Smriti Irani’s ‘gotra’ too has become a point of discussion in cyber space.

lucknow Updated: Nov 29, 2018 09:09 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
gotra politics,amethi battle,smriti irani on twitter
Union textile minister Smriti Irani.(HT File Photo)

The Congress and the BJP’s battle for Amethi is being fought on the social media ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and ‘gotra’ politics has added a new dimension to it.

Amethi is the Lok Sabha constituency of Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

The social media was abuzz after a priest revealed Gandhi’s ‘gotra’ and declared that he was a Kashmiri Brahmin during his (Gandhi’s) visit to a temple in Pushkar. And now, union minister for textiles Smriti Irani’s ‘gotra’ too has become a point of discussion in cyber space.

“Are you nuts??? I HAVE A GOTRA. BOTH PARENTS ARE HINDU. Father’s gotra - Kaushal. Mother’s gotra - Shandilya. Since father’s gotra Kaushal so is mine. Get a life,” said Irani in response to a question on Twitter. Irani, who had taken on Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls in Amethi in 2014, was asked “May I have the privilege to ask the gotra of @smritiirani ji, her husband and kids? The sindoor she wears is religious or style statement?”

Irani also posted a public disclaimer saying she had responded to the question as a public figure and India was her religion. “As a public figure when asked questions (no matter how infuriating) it is my responsibility to respond however as an Indian let me proudly say -mera dharma Hindustan hai, mera karm Hindustan hai, meri aastha Hindustan hai, mera vishwas Hindustan hai.”

“Irani disclosed her ‘gotra’ only when someone asked her about it. The Congress is out to project Rahul Gandhi as a Brahmin. More questions are now bound to be raised on the issue,” said Amethi BJP leader Uma Shankar Pandey.

Congress leaders in Amethi have questioned Irani for declaring her ‘gotra’ on social media. “Smriti Irani wants to remain in focus. Why does she need to declare her ‘gotra’ on the social media? The BJP has put her in the forefront in Amethi to get attention. No one in Amethi takes her seriously now. So, she is resorting to social media,” said Congress MLC from Amethi Deepak Singh.

A poster declaring Rahul Gandhi a ‘Shiv bhakt’ had caught attention on social media earlier.

Both the Congress and the BJP have been indulging in a war of words on various issues. Irani’s move to send a gift 10,000 saris to Amethi too had caught attention recently.

The Congress leaders had claimed that Irani and the BJP had not done anything Are you nuts??? I HAVE A GOTRA. BOTH PARENTS ARE HINDU. Father’s gotra ­ Kaushal. Mother’s gotra ­ Shandilya. Since father’s gotra Kaushal so is mine. Get a life SMRITI IRANI, Union textile minister for the people of Amethi in the past four and a half years and that was why she was trying to keep her party workers in good humour. But the BJP had called the saris a Diwali gift.

The Congress leaders had said her decision to send the Diwali gift was politically motivated about six months before the next year’s Lok Sabha elections. She did not send such a gift in 2017, they said.

First Published: Nov 29, 2018 09:09 IST