Congress president Rahul Gandhi has once again made headlines for the wrong reason. The party stirred major controversy Friday, April 27, during an election rally in Bantwal, Karnataka, when a Congress leader reportedly asked a singer to shorten the national song Vande Mataram, so that Gandhi could deliver his speech.
A video aired by a TV channel shows Gandhi, state chief minister Siddaramaiah and a few other leaders sitting on the dias, while a singer is performing on the stage. Gandhi is then seen pointing at his watch and saying something to KC Venugopal, the AICC general secretary in-charge of Karnataka, hinting that they were running out of time.
A person then is heard telling the singer to finish quickly so that Gandhi could deliver his speech. "Just sing a line (of Vande Matram) and finish it off," the person is heard saying.
Twitter users are now having a field day making fun of Gandhi and slamming Congress for not respecting the national song.
"Playboys are hardly serious on anything. This one is serious not even on patriotism! Shame on the people who seriously support him!," wrote a user, while another added: "Omg! Height of Shamelessness."
"And this guy dreams of the post of PM of our country. Shame on him," wrote a user, and another added: "If it was the national song of Italy he would have stood up. Pappu.doesn't understand Sanskrit."
If that wasn't enough row, the person is also seen asking Gandhi to stand up during the song. After the video appeared on TV, BJP slammed the Congress president for disrespecting the national song and also posted the video.
In the tweet BJP said: "In 1937, Nehru dropped last 3 stanzas of the Vande Mataram just to pacify Jinnah who said the song irks the Muslims. Today, RG asked to cut it to just one line, reminding us of INC's total disregard for the song. Do we need more reasons for Cong Muktha Bharath? Shame on you, RG."
However, Congress was quick to jump in and said that it was a "fake video" created to malign the Congress and Gandhi's image.
Former union minister and Congress leader Rajeev Shukla called the incident "absolutely false" and added: "It is the work of theirs (BJP) to release fake video.Who else believes in Vande Mataram than Congress. The Vande Mataram was started to be sung from 1896 Congress session," reported Hindustan Times.
International Business Times could not independently verify the authenticity of the video.
Meanwhile, this is not the first time that Gandhi has created a controversy in Karnataka. He was the talk of the town when he visited Bengaluru in August 2017 to inaugurate the Indira canteen in the IT city.
Hailing the efforts of the Congress government in the state, Gandhi seemed to have confused Bengaluru and Karnataka and repetitively said, "every single city in Bengaluru." And wasting no time, Twitter users schooled Gandhi on how Bengaluru was a city and the capital of the state of Karnataka.
In 1937, Nehru dropped last 3 stanzas of the Vande Mataram just to pacify Jinnah who said the song irks the Muslims— BJP Karnataka (@BJP4Karnataka) April 27, 2018
Today, RG asked to cut it to just one line, reminding us of INC's total disregard for the song
Do we need more reasons for Cong Muktha Bharath? Shame on you, RG. pic.twitter.com/aPtcreNPuO