NEW DELHI: At a time the nation is grappling with myriad problems like unemployment and rising prices, the BJP’s national social media department head Amit Malviya latched onto a video of former Congress President Rahul Gandhi enjoying himself in a nightclub in Nepal, with a caustic tweet saying that the indulgence has come ‘‘at a time when the party is exploding."
“Rahul Gandhi was at a nightclub when Mumbai is under siege. He is at a nightclub at a time when his party is exploding. He is consistent,” Malviya tweeted.
Congress general secretary and chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala hit back, saying Rahul was in a friendly country to attend the marriage function of a journalist friend and that is not a crime. Also, he has not gone there uninvited, it was pointed out.
The matter may have petered out but the Congress spokesperson couldn’t refrain from making a needless comparison. In a statement, Surjewala said: "Rahul Gandhi has not gone as an uninvited guest, as PM Modi had done when he went to Pakistan to celebrate the birthday of the then Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif.’’
Surjewala also hit out at the RSS, saying it is not a crime to attend weddings of family members and friends, as it is an intrinsic part of our culture.
Stretching the analogy further, Surjewala taunted: "Last when I checked, having a family in this country and having friends, attending marriage and engagement ceremonies is a matter of our culture and civilisation. It has still not become a crime in this country to be married, to be friends with someone or to attend their marriage celebration. Maybe after today, Prime Minister Modi or the BJP may decide that it is illegal to attend a marriage. They may say it is a crime to have friends or participate in family functions."
Rahul Gandhi arrived in Nepal on Monday on a five-day private visit. According to ‘The Kathmandu Post,’ the Congress leader is in the capital to attend the wedding of his Nepali friend Sumnima Udas.
"We had extended an invitation to Gandhi to attend the wedding of my daughter," said Bhim Udas, Sumnima's father who also served as Nepal's Ambassador to Myanmar.
Sumnima, a former CNN correspondent, is getting married to Nima Martin Sherpa, the report said.
The marriage function is planned for Tuesday and a reception will be held on May 5 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bauddha, the bride's father said.
In the video uploaded by Malviya, which went viral on the social media, Rahul is seen in the background, surrounded by people taking drinks. It looks like a discotheque called ‘Lord of Rings.’
Hours later, the Congress, highly strung at the flak Rahul was getting for an innocuous visit, struck back with a photo of Rajya Sabha MP Prakash Javadekar popping a champagne bottle at a party. The photo was shared by Congress leader BV Srinivas with the caption: Pehchaan Kaun!