NEW DELHI, Jun 21, 2019, India Today. Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in an inexplicable tweet, managed to mock the Indian Army, its elite dog unit and the International Yoga Day. Gandhi, whose party is yet to recover from a poll drubbing suffered in the recent Lok Sabha election, tweeted a photo of Indian Army dogs and their handlers performing exercises on the occasion of International Yoga Day, reported the India Today.
“New India,” Gandhi captioned his tweet, a not-so-subtle sarcastic reference to one of the Narendra Modi government’s popular slogans.
The Congress president’s distasteful tweet drew a sharp reaction from Bharatiya Janata Party MP Tejasvi Surya. “Ok. He still hasn’t learnt his lessons. In one go, he has insulted our Army, brave Jawans, the incredible dog unit, Yoga tradition & our country,” Surya said in a tweet. “I feel really sad for all the young Congress workers (if there are any left) that they have to deal with this man as their leader.”
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra too hit out Rahul Gandhi. “New India indeed… but Same/Shame Rahul..disrespects India..India’s tradition..India’s Army..,” Patra said in a tweet.
“Every Dog is not just a PIDI who tweets only for the Gandhi family Scion… These are just not Dogs Sir ..they are those who fight for OUR INDIA ..Salute them!!” Patra also said. Pidi is the name of Rahul Gandhi’s pet dog.
Nalin Kohli, another BJP spokesperson, reacted similarly. “Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi there is a new india, and Gandhi’s tweet reveals a new Congress under him,” Kohli said. “Perhaps for him, life is one continuing joke for him and looking for opportunities to post pictures that remind him of his favourite Pidi.”
Home minister Amit Shah hit out at Rahul Gandhi in a tweet and said while the Congress supports the medieval practice of triple talaq, it insults the armed forces yet again. He also accused the Congress of spreading negativity.
“Congress stands for negativity. Today, their negativity was seen in their clear support to the medieval practice of Triple Talaq. Now, they mock Yoga Day and insult our forces (yet again!) Hoping the spirit of positivity will prevail. It can help overcome toughest challenges,” he tweeted.
Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Youth Affairs & Sports and Minister of State for Minority Affairs Kiren Rijiju also condemned Rahul Gandhi’s tweet. “I have no words to condemn it. I just can’t believe that someone can ridicule own Armed Forces! But then it’s not new for Congress Party and Tukde-Tukde gang to insult, abuse and question our Armed Forces,”
Meanwhile, Rahul Gandhi’s future as Congress president remains uncertain. The Congress boss has reportedly expressed a desire to step down from the party top job after poll rout in the recently held Lok Sabha election.
The Congress barely managed to improve on its 2014 Lok Sabha seat tally, winning just 52 seats in the election. After the loss, Rahul Gandhi is said to have conveyed a desire to quit as president of Congress. Senior leaders reportedly tried to keep him from quitting the party’s helm, but Gandhi is learnt to be adamant on his decision on go.